On Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 6:00 PM, at Bethesda Blues & Jazz, the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) will present CONNECTED! The HeART of Community, an evening of youth art and artistry, to celebrate the deep connection between art, human experience, and the healing power of self-expression.
After a welcome reception lead by special guest, Marcus Johnson, (Billboard-ranked Jazz and Chill Hop musician), attendees will experience a night filled with powerful poetry, music, and dance by local and up-and-coming youth entertainers.
The evening will include performances by:
Drew Olivia Tillman, (Mistress of Ceremonies/Performer). A native Washingtonian, 17-year-old Drew Olivia Tillman is a senior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. As a dedicated student and artist, she is committed to sharing her voice and talent to empower our youth and the community, at large. Drew is a talented professional actress and brilliant vocalist. As an actor, Drew’s credits include roles on ABC’s Mixed-ish, NBC’s This Is Us, CBS’ FBI and Roxanne Roxanne, on Netflix. As a vocalist, Drew has been singing professionally since the age of nine years old and has been a featured vocalist at The United Nations General Assembly and The Kennedy Center. Drew is extremely proud of her ongoing relationship with The National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, MD where she has served as emcee and vocalist for their annual fundraising efforts. Drew is also on a small committee of teen influencers, who were selected by a top tier marketing company to share their voice and opinions on emerging products, brands, and trends. Drew loves Washington DC and is now a proud resident of Los Angeles. As one of six children, Drew enjoys spending time with her family, friends, traveling, collecting records, and reading. She is passionate about using her platform to inspire and encourage others to pursue their dreams.
Dance Dimensions, (Dance Performance Artists). Located in Forestville, MD, Dance Dimensions is a professional and caring performance environment dedicated to the growth and development of young dancers throughout the region. With the goal to nurture the stars and dance leaders of tomorrow, Dance Dimensions’ instructors focus on technique and performance quality, providing students with a strong yet versatile foundation. Competition Team performers are intellectually knowledgeable about dance and its history as well as technically sound. Dance Dimensions’ award-winning competition team has performed at the White House for former President Obama, the INTERSECTIONS Festival, the Cherry Blossom Parade, Earth Day on the National Mall, The International Children’s Festival at the Wolf Trap, placed First at the Apollo in NY, and countless other events.
Impact Performing Arts (Dance Performance Artists). A premier dance studio located in Gaithersburg, MD, Impact Performing Arts is fully devoted to providing dancers an encouraging environment to grow and excel in dance education. Professional faculty provides a variety of classes and levels for dancers of all ages and skill. DanceWorx, Impact Performing Arts’ award-winning competitive performance dance team, competes throughout the DC Metro area.
Lay TC and Marc Anthony (Vocal Artists). Lay-T.C., a student at Academy Health Science at Prince George’s Community College, and her brother Marc Anthony, a junior at Suitland High school in the Creative and Performing Arts Program, were born into a family of musicians and began making music before they were even able to walk. Lay-T.C., completed her first album in 2017 and continues to write and record music as well as play the violin. Marc Anthony, a vocal coach, saxophonist, and audio engineer released his first single, Luv Letter, in 2023. He enjoys experimenting with his own sound and producing professionally for other young artists.
Northwood High School Latin Dance Club (Performance Artists). The award-winning Calor Gladiadors Latin Dance Club was established six years ago at Northwood High School in Silver Spring, MD. Initially founded as a part of the Baila 4 Life movement, which works to develop strong Latin dance club program inside public schools, Northwood High School Latin Dance Club is open to all students who want to learn about and honor the diverse African, Indigenous, and European roots of Latin dances and the evolution of these dances into their current form. Club members express themselves through dance, language, food, theater, and the culture of the Latin Community and perform at a wide variety of events and shows to actively support events that celebrate Latino heritage and culture.
Saniya (Spoken Word Artist). A 15-year-old student in Prince George’s County’s Central High’s International Baccalaureate program, Saniya spent time as an apprentice at the non-profit organization, Words Beats & Life (WBL). She participated in many WBL events, including performing at the 10th Annual University of Wisconsin Passing the Mic Showcase and New Deal 4 Youth’s Block Party & Open Mic. Recently, she was awarded first Place in the regional Young Master’s 2.0 Competition’s Drama category. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” album, Saniya was selected to perform a socially conscious spoken word at the Kennedy Center. Additionally, she participated in a residency sponsored by the Washington Performing Arts inspired by Kennedy Center’s “Cotton.” Saniya has a passion for advocacy in climate change, economic equality, mental health, and legal justice equity/reform. With that in mind, she has future aspirations of becoming a published writer and poet, as well as a defense attorney, where she desires to raise awareness and change to these issues. Now, she is a part of the DMV Slam Team, who recently competed in the Brave New Voices Competition.
CONNECTED! The HeART of Community is an in-person, community event. Tickets are available to the public at Bethesda Blues & Jazz.