show me arts academy

When the fatal shooting of Michael Brown forever changed the urban landscape of Ferguson and the St. Louis area, one woman found hope in the devastation. Marty K. Casey, an artist who has succeeded as a singer, actress, writer, producer and director, noticed a gap in the opportunities provided to underprivileged youth, especially when it came to the arts. She founded Show Me Arts Academy to provide children with more options. “I remember hearing in the media that Mike Brown was interested in rapping,” Casey says. “I wonder, if Show Me Arts Academy had been in existence then, would he instead have chosen to come into the studio that day and lay down some tracks?”

The academy showcases six core disciplines: poetry, music, dance, DJ engineering, theater and visual arts. These foundational teachings allow for expansion into other artistic ventures, from modeling to comedy and more. The academy is gearing up for the inaugural tour of Spreading the Love, sponsored by Emerson Electric, which showcases the select talents of 20 children whose aim is to pass on a message of hope. “[These children] are ambassadors of the arts. Aside from [performing], we will do mission work by going to hospitals and singing to children in cancer wards, as well as veterans,” Casey explains. “We have three children from Ferguson, and I am so excited to give them an opportunity to fight against [their hometown’s negative image] in a positive way.”

Casey has witnessed the impact the academy has had on the community, with children waking up each Saturday, excited to create. “They are amped to be here, starting their day with a feeling of positivity that they can carry with them,” Casey says. “The idea for the academy may have come through me, but the work is shared. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful team – and together, along with the charitable support of Emerson Electric, we make the difference.”  

To donate to or sponsor the academy or tour, contact 314-810-7602 and visit showmeartsacademy.com. Please visit website for additional classes. Mathews Dickey summer camp Music Theater May 31st- Aug 4th. Previous sites serviced: Tandy Park (4206 Kennerly Ave.), Dellwood Recreation Center (10266 W. Florissant Ave.), Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club  (4317 Vista Ave.) and Mathews Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club (4245 N. Kingshighway Blvd.).

SPREADING THE LOVE YOUTH TOUR DATES

St. Louis on July 2: VP Parade finale at Union Station

St. Louis on July 4: performance by and backstory of the academy on KMOV

St. Louis July 6th at 6pm: Concert at the Missouri History Museum and Q & A

Chicago from July 8 through 10

Washington, D.C., from July 10 through 13

New York from July 14 through 16

St. Louis from July 29 through 30: Jacoby Arts Center for the “Social Justice: Both Sides of the River” festival. See a special viewing of Marty K. Casey’s new film, Four Way Stop, and a performance by the academy

LN's special content writer has a love for all things beautiful, from people trying to change the world for the better to fashion and beauty to picturesque places found around the globe.