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RIVERSIDE: At-Risk Youth Award Winners To Display Art And Perform At RAM

At-Risk Youth Award Winners from LIVE UNITED Showcase to Display Art and Perform at RAM for June Arts Walk


Riverside CA – The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is proud to present the LIVE UNITED Showcase award-winners from Vista del Lago High School in Moreno Valley during the June 7, 2012 Arts Walk.


Singers, musicians, disc jockeys, and artists from Vista del Lago High School in Moreno Valley competed Sunday, May 20, at the RiversideConvention Center at the LIVE UNITED Showcase Gala event for a coveted “Bruny” award. The award is so named because the founder and CEO of Music Changing Lives (MCL), Josiah Bruny, with help from his staff and in partnership with United Way of the Inland Valleys(UWIV), made this event happen.


The LIVE UNITED Showcase idea began through conversations between Bruny and UWIV volunteers last summer as a strategy to get youth motivated to stay in school and graduate, a focus area for both agencies. The ultimate goal for both agencies is to decrease high school dropout rates and promote education to at-risk youth.


“Music Changing Lives was already in the process of hosting music and art competitions, such as ‘Music and Art in the Park’ and ‘RAY’s’, a music and art festival,” said Bruny. “The partnership between UWIV couldn’t have come at a better time. It allowed MCL to collaborate with several community partners to combine our efforts and come up with several strategies to reduce our communities’ dropout rates while teaching youth to LIVE UNITED and not Divided.”


“The effort was designed to make school ‘cool’ by using the universal language of music and art,” said Kevin McCarthy, CEO of UWIV. McCarthy also described how the youth were obligated to keep up their grade point average to a 2.0 or above with tutoring and mentoring provided by the Music Changing Lives @ UC Riverside student club. Not only did the kids who were interested in performing participate in the classes, but those who wanted to learn production, sound mixing, DJ skills, and other jobs participated in this three and a half month afterschool program lead by Music Changing Lives student club members from the University of Redlands.


“The Riverside Art Museum commends these talented teens who used the arts to take positive steps forward in their lives,” said Drew Oberjuerge, Executive Director of RAM. “These students’ experience with Music Changing Lives demonstrates the power of art to benefit individuals and to build our communities. RAM is pleased to share their work with the community.”


The winners in the singing competition were: Nakia Jackson, first place; Kimberly Marrder, second place; and Charles Taylor, third place. The art awards went to: Melanie Carroll, first place; Jennifer S. Jimenez, second place; and Yesenia Ruiz, third place. Music awards went to: Curtis Brooks (saxophone), first place; Marve Gibson (piano), second place; and Davyan Irving (guitar), third place. Disc Jockey awardswent to: Carlos Torres as “DJ Twich,” first place; Mark Espinoza as “DJ Glide”, second place; and Raymond Ramirez-Vega as “DJ Active”, third place.


All of the artwork submitted by the Vista del Lago students will be on display in the atrium at RAM on June 7, 2012 during the 6:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m. Arts Walk. Musical performances by the winners will take place at 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


Also taking place during June’s Arts Walk at RAM will be presentations by UCR Professor of Chemistry, Catharine Larsen, on The Science of Art at 7:15 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Members’ Gallery. There will also be a painting demo and much more.


Music Changing Lives at Vista del Lago HS

Music Changing Lives Facebook


RAM relies on the generosity of members and donors to support its exhibitions, education programs, and special events. A 50-plus-year-old, private, non-profit cultural arts institution housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, the museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. For information on exhibits, events, classes, memberships, or sponsorship opportunities, visit Find us on Facebook ( and Twitter (RAMRiverside).

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