Believe in Baltimore
The Believe In Baltimore project grew out of the civil unrest surrounding the Freddie Gray incident. The Living Classrooms Foundation and WTMD joined together to create music and a video from a song written by The LCF's after school music program.
The Living Classrooms serves disadvantaged children in the city through a charter school located on the Inner Harbor. Their Powerhouse building houses the Believe in Music project where 30 kids are taught how to write, record and edit music by Kenny Liner, a Baltimore based musician.
Kenny had the kids write poems about their experiences during the riot - many of these kids lived right in the middle of the violence and saw in person what many of saw on TV. Kenny brought the songs and the idea to WTM where Sam Sessa, our Baltimore Music Coordinator and host of Baltimore Hit Parade took the project to a higher level.
Sam and Kenny recruited several local musicians to turn one of the poems into a song as well as local videographer to shoot the video. It was recorded in the new WTMD studios.
The kids were given tours and the opportunity to record promotional spots about the project and tell their stories.
While we tried for Ellen, we did get the kids to perform on The Meredith Viera Show. The video and song were part of our programming for a month giving the public time to understand the impact of the case.
But more importantly--These kids had an outlet for their emotions and thoughts. They didn't have to sit on the pain that may have come out in less productive ways. I'm proud that WTMD was able to make this happen and am grateful to everyone at Living Classrooms and the station who made this happen.