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"Safe Streets, Healthy Kids": Neu Life Community Center Meets 88Nine RadioMilwaukee

Listen: I have to say — this one is pretty cool. It started last November during our Meet the Need campaign when Jody Rhodes from the Neu Life Community Center came into the studios for an interview. We had a wonderful conversation, and after the mic was turned off, she mentioned to me that some of her students were interested in starting up a music studio. Since we’re pretty familiar with music at the station, I told her to let me know when they get some equipment and we could lend a hand.

Fast forward about 9 months. Last week, I was speaking to Jody about possibilities to hook Neu Life into our week long focus on self-expression. She had no shortage of ideas and I scheduled a time to stop by their facilities. As the conversation was winding down, she mentioned that a few of their young men had won a grant from the wonderful  Usher’s New Look to buy equipment for a small recording studio (the second cool project of Usher’s New Look we’ve featured in two weeks — hear about Sebastian’s project here). “Do you think you’ll be able to help us set it up?” “Of course. I’ll ask Tarik and Jordan.”

So I asked Tarik and Jordan, they said yes, and we headed over to Neu Life Community Center on North Avenue and Fond Du Lac: see podcast below.

I love the way this one came together — everybody involved managed to be productive while having a really good time. In future campaigns, I’m going to make a concerted effort to hook in station folks at least once a month ( and earlier in the campaign, it already worked spectacularly well with Devin and Kori).

Out take! “Hey guys, will you make a beat for me?” They stood in front of the keyboard, shoulder to shoulder, and got to work. And while this first shot at a group-improvisational beat might sound a little ramshackle, trust me, the smile on everybody’s face in the moment was not:

Being an organization that has a strong focus on engaging their youth on their own terms, Neu Life has a wonderful Facebook page . You can also listen to their feature from last winter’s Meet the Need campaign here .

Produced by: Adam Carr