LiveConnections to honor Hill-Freedom Senior with 2018 Young Connector Award
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LiveConnections to honor Hill-Freedom Senior with 2018 Young Connector Award

October 18, 2018

For the second year, LiveConnections is presenting our Young Connector Award to a student from one of our programs who demonstrates creativity, leadership and the ability to foster connections among people.

This year’s recipient, Zakariyya Allen, is a 12th grader attending Philadelphia public high school Hill-Freedman World Academy. Zakariyya (Zak) takes part in LiveConnections’ songwriting and music production residency. The program, presented in partnership with Hill-Freedman’s music technology teacher Ezechial Thurman, provides unique opportunities for students to work with world-class musicians and release a fully produced CD.

With his upbeat personality, collaborative spirit and creative talent, Zak embodies the “people-connecting power of music.” On this year’s album WHAT’S GOING ON, his high-energy track “Lil’ Baby” showcases his songwriting and production skills.  In addition to his talent as a lyricist and producer, Zak is an accomplished student. He currently serves as Hill-Freedman World Academy student council president and is a varsity starter on Hill-Freedman’s baseball and basketball teams.

Ezechial Thurman and Principal Anthony Majewski said, “Zak embodies all of  the things that we wish to instill in our students here at Hill-Freedman World Academy including leadership, creativity, intercultural understanding and open mindedness.  He has been a positive role model for his peers and has shown a commitment to helping others. We are proud of the way he has taken a leadership role with our student record label helping to get the word out about WHAT’S GOING ON at multiple events across the school district.”

The 10th Anniversary Big Hurrah, a birthday party with a purpose for LiveConnections, will take place on Monday, November 12 at 5:30PM at World Cafe Live in University City. An all-star roster of LiveConnections favorites will perform, including Jay Fluellen, Andrew Lipke, Shavon Norris, Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Kristal “Tytewriter” Oliver, Joanna Pascale, Josh Robinson and Alex Shaw. The artists will share the World Cafe Live stage with students from Hill-Freedman World Academy, performing songs from the students’ original album WHAT’S GOING ON. The program will also get the entire audience participating with a preview of LiveConnections’ 10th anniversary cornerstone A SONG EVERYONE CAN SING, which looks at accessibility and inclusion through singing.

Tickets and more information to the Big Hurrah can be found at here.

LiveConnections’ 10th Anniversary Big Hurrah
Honoring Leonard Haas, 2018 Connector Award
Monday, November 12, 2018
World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

ABOUT LIVECONNECTIONS: LiveConnections is a nonprofit organization specializing in music education, arts accessibility and collaborative concerts. Since our founding 10 years ago, we have reached more than 38,000 participants through our educational Bridge Sessions and in-school residencies, and have presented more than 45 concerts through our critically acclaimed LiveConnections Presents concert series.

LiveConnections believes live music is an essential part of the human experience: it fosters joy and is one of the most powerful ways to build bridges between people. LiveConnections collaborates with artists from diverse music traditions to create our unique programming. We create opportunities for audiences with limited arts access — such as youth from Philadelphia public schools and people with disabilities — to be active participants in music-making. The music we create intersects with significant social issues, amplifying marginalized voices and encouraging creative responses to our world.

Notable projects include three albums of student songwriting created in partnership with Philadelphia public schools (A DAY IN MY LIFE, FIRST VERSE and WHAT’S GOING ON), our “Immigrant Songs” after-school program for refugee teenagers, “A Song Everyone Can Sing” looking at accessibility and inclusion through choral singing, and our “New Sound of Philadelphia” commissioning project which paired Philadelphia composers with Philly-based ensembles of a different genre.

LiveConnections’ work has been widely hailed, recently receiving an NBCUniversal “Project Innovation” grant, a Cultural Access Award by leading arts accessibility organization Art-Reach, a Social Innovations Award, a Barra Award, and a special resolution by Philadelphia City Council.