The group renders its interpretations of the works of major choreographers and has worked with Donald Byrd, Bebe Miller, Abdel Salaam, Sarita Allen, Marilyn Worrell, Walter Jones, Faybiene Miranda, Sarita Allen, Ron Bobb-Semple and Kevin Iega Jeff. Performances of such works serve to expand and diversify IYE’s repertoire and also provide opportunities to build strong relationships between IYE members and professional artists. The group performs at local community schools, theaters, churches, special events, at Ifetayo concerts, and other Brooklyn venues. Members audition to be accepted into the ensemble and receive full artistic scholarships for training and rehearsals.
Goals for the program are:
- To provide high quality training by offering professional level instruction with nationally recognized artists, choreographers, composers, and playwrights.
- To teach technical skills in the arts that promotes articulate self-expression through artistic expression.
- To prepare youth for ongoing study and careers in the arts.
- To provide an opportunity and vehicle for youth to build self-esteem and cultural awareness.
- To engage youth as artists and scholars, playwrights, and choreographers.
- To engage youth as activists to identify important social issues.
- To utilize the arts as a vehicle for self-liberation and a mechanism for youth specific social issues.
The resulting works are authentic and honest, openly addressing challenges that are meaningful to young women and men as they use their artistic medium to express their opinions about the socio-economic and political inequalities in their communities.
In performances, IYE members are social agents who share their skills, confidence, and growing self-knowledge with audiences of all ages to create awareness, provide opportunities for open dialogue, and present solutions to eradicate injustices and social inequities. IYE represents the ways in which the arts can be used as a tool for social change and positive community development.