Friday, September 16, 2022

Here Is Why It Is Important For The Youth To Produce F.A.C.T.S.

Here Is Why It is Important For Our Youth To Produce F.A.C.T.S. 

📷 John Bivins

Written By Ms. Que aka Quetee Pie

Many times the best way to tell a story is, to begin with, a quote, so I share with you a quote from William James. “Belief creates the actual fact”, which is how the story begins.

It all started with a belief that the amazing city of Harrisburg houses an abundance of talent in its under-resourced communities and the simple fact that the usage of art is the key in framing a viable space to cultivate this idea. The evening of August 25, 2022, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing this belief turned fact come to fruition. Facts (as our students would say)!

No really, FACTS! That's the name of the game! Film, Art, Culture and Tourism Specialist. FACTS is a non-profit program committed to creating a space to service under-resourced communities utilizing art programming. It engages its participants in activities that force them to think ‘outside of the box’. Most importantly it is committed to invoking a strong focus on the 4C’s: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity as people of all ages take part in project-based learning. The design is structured to provoke a continuum, where the youth will be trained in the arts and adults will obtain jobs in the arts.

I know I said a mouthful, so back to the story. That magical evening, I entered the Whitaker Center in the downtown sector of Harrisburg, where I first encountered a V.I.P. room full of mingling stakeholders. I mention this, because this is where the magic happens; community building and programming, which birth phenomenal programs such as FACTS. The second noticeable happening, were the visibly proud parents, family members, teachers, etc. shuffling through the door to see their children soon to perform. All recipes for the exposure of local artists and aspiring creatives of Harrisburg city.

As I finally get to my seat, for the grand finale or the 7 Experiences (ST(E)AM Camp/1 Collaborative Outcome, I wonder how can they possibly showcase all of the program’s components from a stage. I mean, the program had seven sessions: Direct Connect (film/production), Trade-OFF Program (trade meets film set), The Broadcast Clinic (ins and outs of live broadcasting), The Culinary Clinic (film meets food), The Production Clinic (music and film meets engineering), The Performance Clinic (speaks for itself), and The Ultimate Spin Basketball Camp (ST(E)AM meets basketball). However, history has taught us, if anyone can unify all of the arts from a mere stage, it’s Johntrae Williams.

The grand finale’s ingenious setting was a telethon encompassing local talent performing to raise money for the FACTS program. I mean, how creative is that? Throughout the evening, I had the sheer enjoyment of watching children of all ages tap into ways of learning that most of our schools have forgotten about, today. Every participant had a role. For example, our emcee for the evening was also the same young lady to interview D.L. Hugley during the clinics. A part of the showcase was also a huge monitor, streaming video footage of all the components of the 7 Experiences. Truly, it was a joy to watch local talent in the roles of producers, singers, dancers, violinists, film-makers, etc. The music video was exceedingly impressive, as I experienced a first, an actual music video produced, directed, filmed and performed by the FACTS participants.

This very day, September 15, 2023, a call to action presents itself; donors, stakeholders, and citizens of the great city of Harrisburg, here is an opportunity to buy-in. In October 2022, the highly-regarded producer/actor, Samuel L. Jackson will be returning to Broadway, and FACTS wishes to, as well. They are gearing up for their second installment of the Direct Connect and Production Clinic. The goal is to raise enough funds for its students to pack up their talents and reveal them on Broadway.

Johntrae knew this fact, art has a circuit in every aspect of the world, including the hearts of youth. By tapping into that circuit you open up a wealth of knowledge, culture, and success.

Learn more about the Direct Connect and Production Program at

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