“How can we create work that speaks to the times we’re in?” asks Guyclaude Lacossade, the Music Clubhouse Director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South, home to the newest Music & Youth Studio Clubhouse.
Guyclaude is tapping into the unprecedented challenges facing youth development organizations right now: how to create a balance between making sure that members’ most basic needs are met while also enriching their lives. “In addition to the concerns about physical health and safety,” says Guyclaude, “the kids have many questions and frustrations right now. Music helps them express how they feel. It gives them the tools they need to get through this time… Our job is to help them navigate these difficult moments through grace.”
In that sense, music is more important now than ever. And it’s one of the reasons why the Boys & Girls Club proceeded with investing in the new Studio amidst the pandemic. The relationship between the two organizations began several years ago when Music & Youth provided a small grant for a “starter” music studio. Since then, the Club has worked hard to open their full Studio Clubhouse in Brockton.
“Music is a convener of people. Whatever genre they like, music brings people together,” says Derek Heim, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South. “For a lot of our teens, they’re looking for a place to become who they want to be in the future. Music & Youth is about mentorship and role modeling, and Guyclaude is all about relationship-building with our kids. He understands the City of Brockton and the youth we’re serving.”
Guyclaude’s vision for the Studio Clubhouse is to “allow the teens— many of whom are black and brown youth— to utilize their own capacity to create change and cause a culture shift.” The process involves creating opportunities and taking a holistic approach. “If I can make sure you’re ok up here,” Guyclaude says, pointing to his head, “then you’ll make the best music.”