The Business & Professional Women’s Club of Grand Cayman will host two musical showcases in support of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre’s TAYA Lounge this weekend.

On Friday, Florida-based hip hop artist Theolodge will join local artists at The Lodge at The Strand for a fundraiser that is open to the public for people over 18. Then, on Saturday, a Youth Talent Showcase will be held at the Harquail Theatre and will be open to all ages.

“Our teens are super excited about working with these talented recording artists and coming up with original music that they will perform at the Youth Musical Showcase,” said Natalie Baldwin, Young BPW President and coordinator of the Taya Lounge in a press release.

“Music is an integral part of the teens’ lives. They were crushed last year when a well-known rapper in Florida that they admired was murdered. This is how this initiative came about. We were brainstorming together on what they could do and the idea of a talent show came up. We are grateful to Theolodge and the local recording artists for offering their talents to help the teens put this together.”

This is a new initiative for BPW Grand Cayman, a non-partisan charter group of the International Federation of Business & Professional Women founded in 1930.

“Young BPW members, who are Club members under the age of 35, have been trying to come up with initiatives for our community that make an impact on the younger generations. We thought that this one was a perfect fit for us,” Baldwin said.

She explained that the objective of the musical showcases is to inspire at-risk youth that they can follow their dreams in a healthy way. “You do not have to have violent song lyrics or use unhealthy coping skills such as drugs or alcohol,” she said.

Baldwin added, “Studies have shown that at-risk youth who are given access to the arts out of school have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more community engagement. Creative arts can provide an outlet for addressing emotional and/or problem behaviours through opportunities to learn new skills, develop talents, and express thoughts and ideas in creative and therapeutic ways. Through this initiative, we hope to make a long-lasting positive impact on all the teens involved in it.”

The TAYA Lounge, a teen and young adult drop-in centre for at-risk youth in Cayman, is an umbrella programme of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. It opened in February 2017 to address the needs of at-risk young people between the ages of 14 and 21.

Theo Jones, better known by his stage name ‘Theolodge’ is a rising hip hop star from Orlando, Florida, and a former professional basketball player.

He said in the release that he is “all about hard work, keeping clean and keeping it positive”, adding, “This is the message that I want to share with the teens in Cayman.”

Friday’s event runs from 9pm to midnight and is free to attend. Tickets are $10 for the showcase at the Harquail Theatre on Saturday, from 6‑9pm, and will be available on the door or by emailing [email protected]

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