Inspired by the 60th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Boys & Girls Club teens will have the unique opportunity to express their dreams in lyrics or poetry form in a national lyrics-writing contest called “Voice Your Dreams Project.”

The inaugural Voice Your Dreams Project (VYDP) is a free arts education program, accessible to Club teens, grades 7-12, at more than 4,700 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide.

National Recording Artists will serve as ambassadors and judges to select the winning lyrics. Professional songwriters and producers will then adapt five winning lyrics to music; followed by a national premier of the winning song. There are twenty-five Regional Winners, five National Winners and one Grand Prize winner with Education grants from $1,000 to $10,000 for Clubs and individual Club winners.

“The goal of the Voice Your Dream Project is to inspire teens to voice their dreams through arts education,” said Sam Gray, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. “The Voice Your Dreams Project is designed to educate Club members on the nation’s struggles in freedom and provide a forum for young people to express in lyrics or poetry form, their dreams for the future.”

Although Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech helped galvanize a national Civil Rights movement, today the “Dream” has evolved in areas of civil rights, women’s rights, gender rights, voting rights, mental health rights and more.

The Bacon Brothers will serve as Voice Your Dreams Project judges joining the Project’s musically diverse award-winning mentors and song producers such as June Archer, Raining Jane, Toni Blackman, Javier Colon and more. Additional judges will be announced. (Bios of featured artists:

“The broad spectrum of artists, producers and sponsors who have agreed to invest in this inaugural Voice Your Dreams project is in fact a dream come true and a testament to the power of collaboration and need for more accessible arts education in our communities,” said Candace Mraz, President, Mraz & Company, VRDP co-producer.

“We’re proud to be a small part of the Voice Your Dreams Project — it’s a unique arts education program that fosters creativity in young people through self-expression,” said Michael & Kevin Bacon aka The Bacon Brothers.

Voice Your Dreams is offered with educational modules, artist videos and exercises, helping to guide Club members in the art of writing lyrics.

Voice Your Dreams Project rolls out in Fall 2023. Winning lyrics announced Martin Luther King Day 2024. Winning song will premiere March 2024.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. To learn how Clubs and/or sponsors can participant, visit VOICEYOURDREAMS.COM.

Voice Your Dreams Project is produced in collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs, Mraz & Company, Elkinson + Sloves, Inc. and education partner MAPS (Music & Poetry Synchronized).

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