Founded in 2013, Upbeat Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that inspires and empowers New Orleans youth through a modern approach to music education. Utilizing an original curriculum that provides access to the technology and tools used in the production and performance of hip-hop, rap, R&B, dance music and other popular genres, Upbeat Academy strives to nurture the next generation of musical talent and entrepreneurs, fostering creativity and collaboration both in the classroom and in the community.
Since day one, BUKU has donated a significant portion of the Upbeat Academy Foundation’s annual budget via fan charity fees, guest list donations, graffiti auctions and personal donations from the BUKU founders. Every year, BUKU provides Upbeat student-artists with the opportunity to perform on stage at the festival and meet their favorite artists including Kendrick Lamar, Nas, A$AP Rocky, Chance The Rapper and Run The Jewels.
During COVID, the BUKU founders, who sit on the Upbeat board, have been busy working with the Upbeat Director on flipping the curriculum online for the Fall 2020 semester, hiring a Learning & Development Director and Marketing Coordinator to the Upbeat team, creating and diversifying the Upbeat Advisory Council & Board of Directors, developing a job shadow & job placement program for the student-artists at BUKU and other events, and working with industry leaders and artists on a guest speaker series for the student-artists.