About Us

B4 Youth Theatre was founded in 2010 in Liberia, West Africa with a mission of empowering young people to become educated citizens through the arts. B4YT helps children develop a vision for a better world and attain the education to realize their vision. Performing on stage gives children a way to voice their concerns to community stakeholders to build awareness of and provide possible solutions to societal ills identified by the children using our unique community organizing arts model. Since 2010, B4YT has served more than 300 children and trained 15 Liberian young adults as Arts Instructors across four counties in Liberia: Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa and Bong. B4YT plans on expanding to provide curriculum development, teacher training and sustainability plans for schools in at least ten of Liberia’s 15 counties by 2020. It all starts with children having a chance to imagine something different.

“To tap into imagination is to become able to break with what is supposedly fixed and finished… and to carve out new orders in experience…what might be, what should be and what is not yet.” Maxine Greene.

Core Beliefs

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges believes in the power of the arts for community empowerment, problem-solving and peace building.

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges aims to promote service through volunteerism and civic engagement using the arts to give a voice to issues often over-looked.

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges recognizes the importance of training young Liberian adults in the skills necessary to lead, teach, and mentor younger children in Liberia.

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges understands that youth need experience to make them more marketable in job research and career exploration.

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges realizes the value of partnerships and collaboration between NGOs, communities, businesses and government.

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges supports young people in their aspirations to become better people for tomorrow by pursuing an education.

Burning Barriers, Building Bridges embraces the arts as a tool for community empowerment, peace-building and problem solving that gives a voice to the marginalized and promotes positive change.

B4 Youth Theatre was conceived in 2009 by Founder Jasmine Blanks in partnership with Rosana Schaack of THINK (Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness) in Liberia. The pilot study of an arts education model for high risk youth from graduate work at the University of Minnesota was implemented in 2010 at the Children’s Rescue Center Orphanage Mission in Mt. Barclay, Liberia. This program has since flourished to reach more than 300 children across Liberia, building a reputation for quality programming for children that engages them in positive community change while bolstering their academic success. This innovative learning model blends arts education with public achievement to create a unique means of community change through live performances and student-led projects. Follow us as we Burn Barriers and Build Bridges to a brighter future!

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