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Wooster Collective caught up with Aaron Rose, who is co-developing an after school program for kids called “Make Something!!” with Kanye West. He says:

I was one of those kids who absolutely hated school. I always felt that I didn’t quite fit into the education system as it was and yearned to find a place to belong. I started the Make Something!! program to be a home for kids who feel as displaced in school as I did. Last summer, when we first started the Make Something!! workshops we had no idea that they would have the effect that they did. Our original concept was simply to hold ten workshops that exposed a small number of kids to DIY (do-it-yourself) ethics. Since then the program has grown exponentially, beyond my wildest dreams. Seeing the looks on kids faces when they actually accomplish something that they never thought possible has been one of the greatest rewards of my professional career.

This program, based out of an LA studio that will open later this year, bases its DIY spirit in skateboarding, hip-hop, punk, and graffiti cultures. I can’t wait to see what these kids create! Kanye says:

I believe every child is born an artist. That ability to express ourselves freely is inherent in every child, whether it’s through singing, dancing, drawing or playing. Somehow as we get older society and culture dampen that spirit, making us self conscious about expression. I believe Programs like Make Something!! help to keep this creative spirit alive as well as show kids that being an artist is a viable career path. As public funding for schools and arts programs continue to be cut, programs like Make Something!! are critical to breeding future generations of artists who can contribute to the greater cultural fabric that keeps America forward thinking and progressive.