Breathe Residency Program

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Breathe Youth Arts ProgramLaunched in 2012, the Breathe | Youth Arts Program cultivates creativity while providing a positive environment for youth to express themselves, engage in dialogue about important issues, and experience personal and social transformation through the arts. The program provides constructive creative outlets, encourages cooperation, and teamwork; as well as teaches artistic and social skills in an environment where youth are valued and celebrated.

After achieving great success with our after-school program, we’ve created a school residency initiative that brings Breathe into classrooms to provide a non-traditional creative outlet and fosters personal and social transformation while learning.


Our in-school residency program curriculum is uniquely developed in partnership with teachers, and is designed to help students bridge their personal narratives with the issues and themes already being studied in the classroom.  Our practicing, professional teaching artists collaborate with teachers to implement a new and innovative curriculum.

Breathe can also be incorporated into nontraditional learning spaces such as alternative schools, day treatment, and juvenile justice centers, to give youth a creative and therapeutic outlet. Breathe is used as a tool reduce incidences of delinquency. This helps prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system and intervenes with first-time and non-serious offenders who are already in the system.


Creativity for youth to growth personally, socially, and professionally.

Leadership, character, and relationships among young people by connecting them with opportunities to serve their community and other areas of need.

Educational opportunities for program participants.

Foster youth’s well-being by enhancing social, emotional, and cognitive skills.

Program participants work, skills, and abilities.


Focuses on self-expression, artistic engagement, and selfless service to others.

Constructive outlet for youth’s creative energies by encouraging cooperation and teamwork by developing artistic and social skills.

Youth in unique opportunities to explore the arts while developing supportive relationships and connections within their community.

Youth’s self-esteem and self-worth by developing, sharing, and celebrating the stories of their life and their community.


Vito Tisdale, also known as “Big V” or “Vito Banga," was once the sixth member of multi-platinum hip-hop group Nappy Roots. The group signed with Atlantic Records in 1998 after the release of their first album “Country Fried Cess” that same year. Their first album with Atlantic Records, “Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz,” would be released in 2002. “Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz” went multi-platinum. The album also earned the group two Grammy nominations: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Po' Folks" and Best Long Form Music Video for "The World According to Nappy.” The group was also nominated for American Music Awards, Soul Train Awards and an MTV VMA after the release of this album.

Tisdale has seen his life go from projects to platinum and to projects again. He’s played sold out shows, with crowds screaming his name and has now returned to the life he knew before his fame: raising his youngest two children and still trying to reach his goals for music, which involves writing music with elementary aged children.


We use Breathe as a tool to change young people’s lives, inside and outside of the classroom. We want to bring our innovative and one-of-a-kind program to help your youth. To partner or inquire about our residency program, please answer the following questions and we will provide further information.