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In The Wings: Nonprofit using Urban Arts to reach MKE youth

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Meet one half of True Skool's leadership team

All this month on In the Wings, our topic is Urban Arts.  And the conversation wouldn’t be complete without mentioning True Skool.

For the last 13 years, the organization has steadily grown, not only in reach, but also in its physical footprint.

Producer Professor Gid works with students inside Grand Ave headquarters.Nate Imig | 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Producer Professor Gid works with students inside Grand Ave headquarters.

In 2014, it relocated into its new home at Grand Avenue Mall, moving from a much smaller space on Fond Du Lac Avenue. And it has subsequently grown its capacity to offer a leading model of arts education to high school students.

The organization uses a variety of urban art forms in its programming, including hip hop production, street art, spoken word and break dance, to engage young adults and to offer performance opportunities around Milwaukee.

Students also participate in “Knowledge Wednesdays,” a required component of its overall mission, focused on conversations around social justice.

Fidel Verdin, left, alongside co-executive director Shalina Ali.via TrueSkool.org

Fidel Verdin, left, alongside co-executive director Shalina Ali.

I spoke with Fidel Verdin, co-executive director of True Skool, and learned more about the philosophy that drives the organization.

Click the player below to listen.

Next week on In the Wings, we’ll introduce you to two young men who have grown within the organization, from students to staff.

Check back for more coverage as our series continues.