Cass High graduate forms TTAP to preserve the arts, provide positive outlets for youth
by Marie Nesmith
Jan 19, 2011 | 2389 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chantelle Munroe and Mustapha Williams rehearse a scene from “Dream Music,” a skit that will be performed during Therapy Through Art & Passion’s Open-Mic Night Friday.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Chantelle Munroe and Mustapha Williams rehearse a scene from “Dream Music,” a skit that will be performed during Therapy Through Art & Passion’s Open-Mic Night Friday. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
slideshow
By creating Therapy Through Art & Passion, Chantelle Munroe is trying to provide an outlet for individuals 7 to 18 to express themselves in a positive manner. Based on the 19-year-old Cass High School graduate's past experience, she said turning to the arts can help one find focus and remain on the right path.

"TTAP is an organization that's all about preserving the arts, especially in the lives of youth and young adults," said Munroe, a Kennesaw State University sophomore, who founded the group in September. "I really started this because I was actually a student that was sent to Bartow Academy, the [former] alternative school, and I was a troubled student and everything like that.

"But when I went off to college I started writing [poetry] a lot and writing music, and it just gave me an outlet to express myself positively. And that's what I want other youth and young adults to be able to do, express themselves positively in nonvulgar, nonprofane ways so they won't be as angered, just try to find positive outlets of expression."

Munroe invites the public to learn more about TTAP during a free Open-Mic Night Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Hobby Lobby classroom, 180 Market Square in Cartersville.

"We're going to explain what TTAP is and what the benefit of TTAP is in our community and how it can help," she said. "We want people to really get involved with TTAP ... "We have a video that myself and the board of directors have put together, explaining more about the organization and then at the end of the night we're going to have a showcase of the programs that we have -- the theater, art and music and poetry programs.

"We're going to have a skit, a mini-arts show, a few songs and some spoken word at the end to wrap up the night. Everybody is welcome to join in, and we encourage people to join in with the spoken word in the open mic session so everyone can show their hidden talents."

If there is enough interest in the group, Munroe plans to turn TTAP into a nonprofit in the near future.

"I would really love to become a nonprofit," she said. "Everything that TTAP does is completely free. We raise our money through fundraisers and donations only. I really hope that we can get the entire city of Cartersville interested. I really hope that we will have enough students to be able to buy our own facility and hold our own classes. I hope to have the theater program go to theater conferences and the art program visit art exhibits and museums and the poetry program to go to professional spoken word [events].

"I have big plans for this. I want the whole city of Cartersville to get involved, like I said, and I plan on doing just everything to raise awareness in our community just to preserve the arts and positive expression so more students will be in school and out of trouble, and it will help them express themselves in a way that won't get them in trouble."

For Mustapha Williams, TTAP's executive director and director of its music program, being involved in the group was a no-brainer.

"My goal in life is to be a teacher, so I like helping with kids and youth and on top of that I like music, I love music," Williams said. "So I feel it was just the right fit for me.

"Not only will [TTAP] give them a skill set but it will also give them the courage to express themselves in terms of their music and they can also apply it to other aspects. It's for all ages of course and it's a really fun as well as enlightening experience."

For more information about TTAP, visit www.TTAPInc.org.