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B4 (Burning Barriers, Building Bridges) Youth Theatre

Empowering young people to become educated citizens through the arts!

B4 (Burning Barriers, Building Bridges) Youth Theatre was founded in 2010 with a mission of empowering young people to become educated citizens through the arts. B4YT helps children and young adults develop a vision for a better world and attain the education to realize their vision.

HundrED 2023
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2023

2009

Established

500

Children/users

4

Countries
Organisation
Not-for-profit
Target group
Students
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
I’d just like to admonish you, the organizers, to continue to do this and hope the program will run in other parts of the country so that our children can once again learn through theater acting. 2013
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges Youth Theatre (B4YT) believes in the power of the arts for community empowerment, problem-solving and peace building.

B4YT aims to promote service through volunteerism and civic engagement using the arts to give a voice to issues often overlooked.

B4YT recognizes the importance of training young adults in the skills necessary to lead, teach, and mentor others.

B4YT invests in collaboration between universities, NGOs, communities, businesses, and government.

B4YT supports young people in their aspirations to become better people for a brighter future by expanding educational activities.

B4YT amplifies the voice of those less often heard and promotes positive change.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Performing on stage gives a way to voice concerns to community stakeholders, build awareness and provide solutions to societal ills identified by youth using our unique community organizing arts model. Since 2010, B4YT has served hundreds of children in Liberia, West Africa, training them to serve as Arts Instructors who lead their own program sites across the country and abroad.

Their arts-based advocacy and community education efforts have reached hundreds of thousands through live performance, especially during the Ebola and COVID-19 crises. Our Global Youth Arts Collaborative, a 10-week arts and community engagement training has gone virtual to reach youth all over the world with this model. Through our consulting services, we have provided training and curricular materials on education, gender, health, arts, and advocacy to community organizations and academic institutions. Follow us as we Burn Barriers and Build Bridges to academic success and positive community change!

How has it been spreading?

B4 Youth Theatre was established in 2009 by partnering with THINK (Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness) in Liberia. The pilot study of an arts education model for high risk youth was implemented in 2010 at the Children’s Rescue Center Orphanage Mission in Mt. Barclay, Liberia. This program has since flourished to hundreds of youth across 5 counties in Liberia, building a reputation for quality programming for children that engages them in positive community change while bolstering their academic success. This new learning model blends arts education with public achievement to achieve a unique synthesis of creative community change through live performances and student-led projects. It all begins with imagining something different!

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Follow us as we Burn Barriers and Build Bridges to academic success and positive community change!

Our Africa hub is in Liberia & our team partners with other organizations to open new sites. Contact us to get an instructor for your site!

We have one new location open in Philadelphia, PA, USA and will have a second in 2023. Please contact us if you have a student who would like to get involved.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews
Combining advocacy for children, arts-based self-expression and education on social issues, and educational training opportunities makes this innovation an impactful and sustainable community tool.
B4YT intends to work across nationalities, creating platforms, events, programs, providing kids with tools & skills to produce video materials on global social problems & challenges which reach beyond country borders
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Spread of the innovation

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