America RAVES was founded on May 21, 2003, by Beverly Rhodes at the request of young people who were having difficulty breaking into the music business because of my many years promoting gospel and secular music. Though young people showed extraordinary talent, we discovered that many were facing many issues, such as violence in the community, bullying, food insufficiency, teen pregnancy, and other situations that led us to begin offering assistance in many of those areas. As a result, young people were able to express and expose their gifts on platforms that improved coping skills, self-image, artistic abilities, and educational pursuits.
We organized advocacy and empowerment programming in 2008, which became an IRS certified 501 (c)(3) non-profit Humanitarian Organization in 2010 committed to engaging, reaching, and teaching youth and young adults, from urban, rural, and under-served communities, across America because we believe that young people have the potential for greatness.
We offer experiences such as Social Justice initiatives, Family Relationship Round Tables, Communication Camps, Film Productions, Play Productions, Career Exploration, Live Performances, and Educational Symposiums. During their participation, we become advocates, listening ears, and resources to assist with issues that impact education, safety, and health.
As we move forward, there is much for the organization to do to impact the lives of young people by seeking collaborations, partners, and funding for programs and projects to make a difference.
Our over 30 years of experience producing arts-related programming, initiatives, and events has equipped us to be teachers and trainers with the capability to flesh out beneficial elements and models of the creative process leading to the impartation of knowledge, enrichment, realistic goal setting, and a keener awareness that lead to more engaged and energetic young people of purpose.
The organization was founded as a cry from new and independent artists who were discouraged by the lack of opportunities and resources available in the gospel music industry. Their passion was singing, exposing their gift, and spreading the Good News. Therefore, The America RAVES National Talent Search, later named “Sing Your Heart Out,” gospel singing competition was launched in 2003 to fill that void. The vision was inspired by American Idol. The concept initially focused on outstanding gospel singers between the ages of 18-40 years old, whose faith was an important element of sharing their heart through music. During our talent searches, we discovered raw but outstanding talent among youth residing in communities where opportunities were limited or non-existent. As a result, we began seeking youth for the “Sing Your Heart Out” talent competition, which matured into opportunities to develop, nurture and expose many of their talents. In 2008, we organized The Youth Empowerment Program to offer arts programs that empower young people to reach their potential in various artistic fields. Our programs focused on education, faith, and self-development, inspiring their desire to excel. The talent search still equips young people for national platforms and economic opportunities. It has been a forum to reach hundreds of young people nationwide. Through workshops, conferences, showcases, community initiatives, and other services, young people are being transformed. In 2010, we organized the Junior Advisory Board, under the direction of Apostle Sandra Broughton, to train youth ages 10-17 years old for leadership. The Atlanta JAM community gospel singing group was founded by Beverly Rhodes in 2011 to promote music and support artists with extraordinary talent in genres such as gospel, R& B, choirs and other genres. The Atlanta JAM is still evolving.
America RAVES at a Glance
Our mission is to reach youth and young adults between the ages of 10-25 years old through advocacy and empowerment programs targeting "at-risk” communities Our focus is on faith, education, and self-development, utilizing arts-based programming, advocacy, and social engagement that create opportunities, expand platforms and offer various avenues for expression capable of establishing intentional and transformative futures.