The “Be Grateful” benefit concert is a collaboration between the Heath School of Music and Demoiselle 2 Femme, NFP. The concert celebrates four female artists (Rosalind Sanders-Jones, Sonjia Blumenberg- Dickerson, Cynthia Nunn, Woola “Candy” LaFlora) who have made significant contributions to Gospel music. Proceeds from the concert will support the continuance and expansion of programs offered to youth residing in distressed communities which are served by the organizations. A description of the collaborative partners is provided below:

The Heath School of Music is designed to provide children ages 5 through 18 an opportunity of discovery and exploration through the world of music.  Outcomes from student participation in the program include increased creativity, revealed musical talent, increased focus, discipline, listening skills and cohesive interaction with their peers. Children learn to read music as well as the history of various musicians and musical genres such as classical, gospel, blues, jazz, rock, funk and soul. The Heath School of Music provides a vital service to the community at a time when many schools have cut or eliminated music and arts programming due to budgetary constraints.  The Heath School of Music supports schools and community agencies with music education programs for children who may not otherwise receive musical instruction. In the implementation of the model; music is used to empower students to avoid at-risk behaviors while increasing their self-worth, musical aptitude, cultural knowledge and use of critical thinking skills.  More information on the Health School of Music can be found at www.charlesrickheath.com

Demoiselle 2 Femme (D2F), French for “Young Ladies to Women” is a nonprofit organization with a rich history of providing community-based programs to girls on the far south side of Chicago as well as the south suburbs.  The mission of D2F is to provide holistic services, education, instruction and training to assist adolescent females in a successful transition to womanhood. In fulfilling its mission, D2F has provided prevention and education programs to more than 2,000 girls ages 13-19 in the Chicagoland community for almost 20 years.

Through various programs, girls are challenged to utilize critical thinking skills in operation of one of the greatest powers humans possess-the power of choice.  D2F provides an array of prevention programs which address: HIV/AIDS, obesity, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and violence, as well as financial literacy, leadership development, college access and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) centered programming for girls. In 2008, Demoiselle 2 Femme, NFP announced its plans to build a state of the art facility for girls.  The purpose of the H.O.P.E. (Honor Opportunity Purpose Endurance) Center for Girls is to inspire girls to achieve personal, academic, and social success.  Upon completion, the H.O.P.E. Center will serve as a community-based institution which provides gender-specific programming to increase the social and cognitive development of girl.  For more information on Demoiselle 2 Femme, NFP visit: www.demoiselle2femme.org