HeartBEATS is an innovative, trauma-informed hip hop/beat making youth development program, housed at The Kings Center in Frankfort, KY. HeartBEATS is modeled after a program by Today’s Future Sound, a nonprofit organization in Oakland, CA that uses the power of hip hop to inspire youth. The program focuses on regulating stress-response, trauma symptoms and neurophysiological arousal through beat making, building relationships with peers and teaching artists and fostering self-esteem through creative mastery. HeartBEATS increases students’ access to a high quality arts education, which research shows is associated with improved academic performance, better standardized test scores, increased involvement in community service and lower dropout rates.

HeartBEATS is funded through an Alumni TIES small grant from the U.S. Department of State. Local partners and donors include The Kings CenterFrankfort Independent SchoolsHands Healing HeArtsSouth Frankfort Presbyterian Church, Frankfort KY, and the Franklin County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy