Media, Arts, + Culture Overview

 In service to RYSE's Theory of Liberation, the Media, Arts, + Culture (MAC) Department promotes personal healing, social justice, and community transformation by facilitating young people's innovative creation of personal, political, and expressive media and art to shift the narrative about our youth.








We elevate youth voice by providing access to industry-standard media equipment, loving and talented teaching artists, and professional development training in the areas of music, video production, visual arts, and performing arts.

As a cornerstone of our MAC programming, we provide a number of workshops:

  • Video Production (Digital Storytelling): Young people gain the full experience of storytelling as they explore different forms of media and platforms for telling personal and community stories. Members receive training in developing story ideas, storyboarding, videography, and editing and gain opportunities to submit videos to film festivals and contests.

  • Graphic Design: Members gain experience in graphic design, editing photographs, designing logos, and creating material for websites and social media.

  • RAP (Rhythm and Poetry)/Spoken Word: Members explore the relationship between music and poetry and the history behind it. In partnership with youth productions, members write spoken word with a focus on rhythm, record their poems over beats, and perform over live music, pushing the boundaries of genres for performance poetry.

  • Graffiti Mural Arts (formerly Urban Arts): Graffiti Mural Arts provides a safe space to practice and explore the culture and methodology of urban art forms. Members can learn about creating murals with paint, aerosol/spraypaint, while avoiding the stigma and taboo too often affiliated with graffiti arts.

  • Advanced Poetry (Slam): Process of peer editing and revision. Advance poetry culminates with youth performances as part of RYSE’s Richmond Slam poetry team and publication of poems.

  • Beat Production: Youth learn the basics of producing beats using Reason software.

  • Photography: Members explore the art of photography through concepts and practice. Members gain a thorough understanding of photo composition, techniques, and terminology, while engaging in practical activities and projects.

  • RYSE Lounge: Members create a space to develop as artists and showcase their creativity through music, art, video, and performing arts. Youth plan, produce, and perform at RYSE Lounge.

  • Artist Development: Cultivates the mind, body, and soul of young artists by engaging in dialogue to dissect and challenge song content, enhance performance skills, and provide guidance on music production and recording. Young artists receive support in the creative process and music business.

  • Screen Printing: Members learn proper techniques and process for screen printing.

  • ProTools/Engineering: Members learn music production and recording.

  • House Band: Members learn music theory and receive instruction and support in live instrumentation, including piano, drums, and guitar.

  • Phoenix RYSing: A spoken word workshop that leverages performance art to process grief and address challenges arising from prolonged exposure to personal and community trauma.

The outcomes the Media, Arts, + Culture Department seeks are:

  1. Young people feel loved.

  2. Young people construct their own narratives and those of their communities.

  3. Young people have emotional, physical, and political safety to acquire tools, skills, and resources they need to understand and change inequities.

  4. Systems takeover by next generation leaders committed to a platform for liberation in which cultural work and race are central.

“Before I began attending the RYSE Center I did not have a clear vision of what it was I wanted in life. Thanks to the media and arts programs offered at RYSE I have been able to progress outstandingly as a community artist and youth mentor.”
— RYSE Member

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Text @RYSEMAC to 81010 for updates from Media, Arts, + Culture


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