Moves and Grooves, or M.A.G., was founded in 2002 by Dr. Emerald Mitchell of Portland Oregon. While in high school, Dr. Mitchell graduated from the Self Enhancement Inc. Program, which is the model for Moves and Grooves. As a graduate of a performing arts high school, Dr. Mitchell understood the profound impact the arts could have in a young person's life. In the spirit of "giving back" she decided to volunteer her dance talents at a local community center near her university. Soon a community center that was filled with students who had no motivation, were noticed concentrating and working hard to learn the intricate rhythmic moves Dr. Mitchell had choreographed. A tattered community center storage room, was now a make-shift dance studio where students could come to get help with homework and find freedom through dance.
After being established as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2003, the organization began a contract with 3 Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide dance and tutoring inside the classroom. Since those humbled beginnings, Moves & Grooves has opened its own doors in the heart of South Nashville, Tennessee to serve over 200 annually. In 2012, the organization was selected by Mayor Karl Dean as a NAZA (Nashville After Zone Alliance) Anchor Partner. Currently, the after school program has expanded to serve 75 additional students who attend Croft, Apollo, Antioch, Thurgood Marshall, IT Creswell and John Early Middle Schools in Davidson County. The organization opened it's 1st elementary site in January 2015 serving 60 students at AZ Kelley Elementary school. This was a huge accomplishment as A.Z. Kelley is a feeder school into Thurgood Marshall, Antioch and Apollo Middle where the organization is currently operating.
This art-infused Project Based Learning experience is FREE of charge to all middle students attending these schools. The organization has also been privileged to receive two editorial interviews highlighted in the Tennessean newspaper in 2013-2014 and received financial support from the HCA Foundation, Metro Development & Housing Agency. The organization recently received a multi-year grant from the 21st Century LEAPS Lottery Fund to support additional STEM programing afterschool for young girls. Wal-Mart, Tennessee Arts Commission and generous donors across the state have also continued to support our enrichment efforts.
Moves & Grooves is a non-profit organization seeking to inspire youth to create for themselves, discover, learn and grow through the arts. As Moves & Grooves celebrates over a decade of service, it is a testament to young people that using your talents to inspire others is one of the most powerful things that you can do in life and using your gifts to serve others can be most rewarding. In 2015 and beyond, Moves & Grooves will continue to fulfill its mission to empower youth through the arts. By creating relevant programs for youth and connecting with the needs of the community, we will be equip to serve the youth of Middle Tennessee with the very BEST in quality arts, health and education services!