June 10th, 2010

Changing Lives Through the Arts

Many people talk about changing their communities, but very few actually step up to the plate and do so.

Some  Baby Boomers  say that youth today are not as active as  they (The Boomers) were when they were growing up. However, Positive Images of Self Expression (PISE) makes sure that the youth stay active and are able to make a positive impact within their communities.

PISEIn 1992, a young woman by the name of Imani Hayward founded Positive Images of Dance (PSD), which was a community-based dance school. PSD was not the ordinary dance school. It consisted of school visits from Hayward, requested report card copies and the school provided counseling and mentoring services as well.

They key to creating successful youth is to allow them to have fun while learning and PSD showed that you can teach both arts and education at the same time.

In 1996, Positive Images of Dance was renamed to define it’s meaning. It is a full service performing arts school that provides entertainment and educational programs that emphasize self-esteem and the arts as a form of positive expression. Hayward partnered with close friend, Lanet Love and they later came up with the new name, Positive Images of Self Expression (PISE). With the new name, new services arose such as counseling, etiquette, tutoring, career development and theater.

In 1997, PISE was incorporated and Hayward, executive director,  has become a teacher of the arts, a successful entrepreneur and a mentor to hundreds of children and young adults.

Today, PISE still offers several activities and workshops for youth  including  PISE Performing Arts Summer Camp, drama training dance, vocal training, a homework club, modeling, a Boys in the Arts program and PISE has an internship program.

While directing PISE, Hayward has organized the PISE annual celebrity fashion show, the theatrical production Let Me Dream and the Deliverance Dance Company.

PISE is truly living up to it’s mission.

About the Author

Naomi Bonman
Naomi Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.She has worked at The Black Voice News and interned at various communications and arts companies in Los Angeles and Atlanta Currently Naomi works as a Staff Writer at the Inland Valley News in Upland, CA. She plans on launching a non profit in 2012 to help educate disadvantage youth of San Bernardino county.



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