The Academy of Music Production Education and Development (AMPED) has two campuses situated in West Louisville, a community that in the past few decades has experienced considerable blight. AMPED hosts programs throughout Louisville, at schools and community centers, but the two main centers are in ZIP codes 40211 and 40203, where the poverty rates are 27% and 44%, respectively. AMPED serves youth ages 8 – 18. Jefferson County has the highest opioid overdose deaths in Kentucky, and western and southern Louisville have the highest rates of both drug use and overdose deaths in Louisville; OSTs show promise in deterring kids from drug use and violence.
AMPED is a bright spot, a thriving community center where, as soon as you enter, positivity is palpable. Kids and adults alike are allowed and indeed encouraged to express their creativity through music: writing, performing, and producing. AMPED has expanded to provide mentoring, using music to build connections with our youth, a unique opportunity that attracts mentors who otherwise might not volunteer their time, and with whom our youth might not otherwise connect. We have also built a successful technology program that teaches youth to code, building that crucial foundation necessary for career success in the 21st century. We enjoy broad community support and receive considerable publicity from Metro United Way, the Louisville Urban League, the Fund for the Arts, the Mayor’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, and other prestigious local institutions. We are regularly invited to perform at community events. We don’t expect our youth to win Grammy awards, but, in sum, we have developed a thriving Out-of-School Time Program that is reaching youth in our community who most need it.