James Kim created ‘Beat Breakers’ while taking part in Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program. The purpose of his project was to give New York City High School students a free, after-school, authentic ‘b-boy/b-girl’ (breakdancing) program. The initial program was led by b-boy legend Ken Swift. Watch below.
From the outset, the administrators at the Urban Assembly, who run a network of 21 New York City public high schools, were taken with the program. The New York City Academy of Letters hosted the pilot program, which was a huge success, according to administrators, Swift and his staff, and the students themselves. 18 students were selected for the pilot program, which culminated with a performance for the whole school.
The pilot was sponsored by Puma – Kim hopes this will continue for future programs. It also inspired Kim to have his company start a non-profit named B.E.A.T. (Bringing Education and Arts Together).
The next plan is to launch another program called Beat Rockers, an after school program for blind and visually impaired students at the Lavelle School for the Blind in the Bronx. This program has already been green-lit at the school, although funding is still being sought.