Amplify youth voices in 2019 with HeartBEATS!


HeartBEATS is a trauma-informed Hip Hop and beat making youth development program for middle and high school students at The Kings Center, a free out-of-school time community center for youth and families in Frankfort, KY. We emphasize positive mentorship with professional musicians, DJs and producers; provide young people with the tools to express their emotions and experiences through music; foster collaboration among peers; and enhance confidence through creative mastery. 

HeartBEATS began in 2018 with a substance abuse prevention grant through the U.S. Department of State and several community donors. Kentucky has been devastated by the opioid epidemic and other substance abuse. Frankfort is determined to tackle addiction and uplift prevention through innovative projects in our community like HeartBEATS. This program is modeled after Today's Future Sound  (TFS), a nonprofit organization in Oakland, CA that uses the power of Hip Hop to inspire youth. HeartBEATS teaching artists were trained on TFS' programming, which focuses on regulating stress-response, trauma symptoms and neurophysiological arousal through beat making, building relationships with peers and teaching artists and fostering self-esteem through creative mastery.  HeartBEATS also increases students’ access to a high quality arts education, which research shows is associated with improved academic performance, better standardized test scores, increased involvement in community service and lower dropout rates. This project helps youth build confidence and self-empowerment, inspires creativity and self-expression, and helps create positive change in their own lives and communities - all developments that build youth resiliency, which prevents pathways to addiction.



With your support, HeartBEATS will continue  to offer FREE programming in 2019 and beyond.  Your donation will ensure weekly HeartBEATS sessions with five teaching artists from the community who will mentor students in creating their own beats, writing song lyrics, and recording and producing their final tracks for a collaborative album. (Check out the students' 2018 debut release!) In 2019, HeartBEATS will incorporate more music education and songwriting, as well as a student-led community album release event.

Your donation will cover the following HeartBEATS expenses: teaching artist stipends, coordinator stipend, background checks, and if possible, a projector for educational use.



The arts themselves have been shown in numerous studies (see research summary from Americans for the Arts or explore their Arts and Social Impact tool ) to provide a wide variety of benefits to students in school, and eventually in work and life. Key benefits include: boosting both literacy and math performance; developing students’ creativity, problem-solving, and communication/collaboration skills (key 21st century learning competencies); fostering community connection and civic engagement; and strengthening students’ perseverance through adversity. There is also a growing body of research on the unique benefits the arts can provide to people healing from trauma, a major concern for children living in high-poverty districts like Frankfort Independent Schools where high rates of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are common. Researchers are learning more all the time about the neurobiological processes behind the arts’ healing effects.  


Donate, please. Any amount is great! Spread the word about HeartBEATS and how others can help - via email, social media, text, phone call, conversation, letter! THANK YOU!!!


The Kings Center mission is to serve the physical, emotional, academic and spiritual needs of Frankfort's children and families through a caring presence in the community. Three major goals undergird the programs and activities offered by the Center: each young person will receive what he/she needs in order to earn a high-school diploma or General Education Development (GED); each young person will receive one-on-one mentoring from a caring adult; and each young person will develop an appreciation for Frankfort and all that the city has to offer.

Donations (0)

  • Rhonda Deaton 
    • $25 
    • 7 d
  • Deborah White 
    • $25 
    • 6 mos
  • Katie French 
    • $100 
    • 7 mos
  • Michael Fleck 
    • $35 
    • 7 mos
  • Jim Pierce 
    • $25 
    • 7 mos


Jeri Howell 
Frankfort, KY
The Kings Center (Kings Center) 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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