Keep Arts Alive in Brooklyn

Good day!


My name is Jada John and I am the Executive Director of Big Apple Leadership Academy for the Arts , otherwise known as BALAA (pronounced BALL-UH).  BALAA, established on June 20, 2019, is a youth-centered, arts-based non-profit located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Although we are a relatively new organization that has spent the greater half of its years surviving a pandemic, we have pretty big goals and aspirations at BALAA. As part of our regular programming, we offer seven major initiatives:
BALAA Beauties - All girls empowerment program
BALAA Brawns - Male mentoring program
BALAA Legacy - Adult wellness program
The Empire Marching Elite (TEME) -  Traditional HBCU style marching band
Northern Showstyle Band Coalition  - Coalition of HBCU marching band programs in our area
BALAA After School Program - Academic support and marching band fundamentals
BALAA Summer Enrichment Program - Six-week summer program

We are raising funds to support both our 2022 Summer Enrichment program and TEME, our marching band program. TEME, our loudest and most visible program, trains young musicians to pursue and acquire marching band scholarships to HBCUS. In both programs, our participants learn (or improve their ability to) read music, to master their instruments and crafts, and are provided with meaningful performance opportunities around our city.  This season, we were able to take our participants Virginia Union University, and three seniors acquired over $48,000 in marching band scholarships to march with the Ambassadors of Sound Marching Panthers.

Our mission is to provide creative outlets for youth and young adults in Brooklyn during prime disruptive hours, particularly in areas that are historically underserved and underrepresented. As such, in efforts to not alienate persons who wouldn't be able to make financial commitments, we do not charge tuition or participation fees to our families. To that end, we depend on contributions from the general public and the generosity of people like you to keep our doors open and ensure that operations continue.

Check out our website , our organizational Facebook page, and our marching band's Facebook page to learn more about who we are and what we do. We hope that you'll find it in your hearts to donate to our cause.






  • Catherine Burns 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 2 mos
  • Theresa Lindsay 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Kaitlin Steele 
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
See all


Jada John-Ali 
Brooklyn, NY