THE S.T.A.R.S. MISSION
S.T.A.R.S.’ mission, since 2001, is to find and develop talented teens that seek to fulfill a successful career in the music/recording, video and graphic arts industries while developing them into knowledgeable and noteworthy adults.
S.T.A.R.S. effectively utilizes the Junior Achievement model combined with the concepts of Motown Records wherein students create, write, arrange, compose, publish, copyright, engineer, produce, record, copy/reproduce, manage, choreograph, practice, perform, promote, market, sell and invest in their original works.
S.T.A.R.S. participants become skilled in language, literary, graphic as well as audio/visual arts. They are apprised of the many career opportunities “behind the scenes” ranging from sound engineers, lighting technicians, camera operators, animators, software developers, and artists to performers (vocalists, musicians, writers, producers, managers, directors, arrangers, publicists, agents, and a host of other administrative (legal, accounting, management and etc.), professional positions with new careers and business opportunities emerging in the digital and mobile environs.
S.T.A.R.S. is a non-profit 501(c3) and free for participants 11 to 19 years of age. Many are from the inner city – most are “at -risk” and can be found in each and every community in your city. S.T.A.R.S. provides a safe environment where young people can be comfortable and creative being themselves. They learn how to write and produce music, in real recording studios, working with professional and knowledgeable adults that have REAL experience making hit records. Participants get real star treatment with choreography, photos, videos and stage etiquette, and they will perform all over the Akron/Summit County areas.
The S.T.A.R.S. program began in Columbus Ohio in the summer of 2001. The program now has recording studios in Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron at the Lebron James Boys and Girls Club, 825 Fuller St. Akron, 44306. The program also has participants in several countries including Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Ghana and England. Participants interact globally, creating projects using original music, film & video, spoken word, and dance.
The S.T.A.R.S. program has been very successful and boasts a higher than 90% high school graduation rate. In 2014 alone there was one participant on American Idol, two participants with full scholarships to the Berklee College, one participant in the new movie about Miles Davis starring Don Cheadle, one participant represented the USA in the FINALS of the “NEW WAVE”: international competition to find the best new pop star. The New Wave competition took place in Moscow with the Finals in Europe in front of 200 MILLION viewers, and here is a video of Tyshawn Colquitt’s performance there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grqTC_uG85k.
Here is a PBS television story about S.T.A.R.S. in Cincinnati Ohio: http://watch.cetconnect.org/video/2365349933/.
The program was founded by veteran musician/producer Chris Powell. Powell has had an extensive career in the music/entertainment business. He was a recording artist and producer signed to Motown Records. Some of the artists he has worked with include Stevie Wonder, Rick James, Destiny’s Child (Beyonce & Kelly Rowland), Paula Abdul, Troop, Teen Dream and Rashad.