While almost everyone else is offering their opinions on crime in Chicago, multi-platinum rapper Kanye West is putting his attention where his heart is — Chicago’s at-risk youth — many of whom will have a chance to attend his new music program, Got Bars.
Launching through his non-profit organization Donda’s House, the 10-week alternative to a crime-laden community will teach music writing and production to young people ages 15-24.
Donda’s House, named after Kanye’s deceased mother Dr. Donda West, has partnered with the ARK of St. Sabina to present the pilot program for free to participants beginning in August.
“My mom spent her life as an educator and I am happy that Donda’s House can pick up her torch and honor her life’s mission,” West said in a statement.
Donda’s House co-founder and Assistant Director Che “Rhymefest” Smith will assist his wife Donnie Smith, a high school English teacher, in Got Bars’ daily operations.
“I am so happy to launch ‘Got Bars’ to honor Kanye West’s mother’s memory and to fulfill one of my Aldermanic campaign goals,” said Rhymefest.
“Got Bars will change our youth musically, get them healthy and keep them busy in a creative, peaceful environment. I know it will be an even stronger program because of our partnership with the ARK of St. Sabina.”
The program’s goals include life-lessons, physical health, and the creation of an original written piece that will be recorded or published and performed.
Applications will be accepted through Friday, August 2 at dondashouse.com or at the ARK of St. Sabina (7800 S. Racine Chicago, IL).