Nonprofit performance foundation launched to showcase metro Detroit's underserved populations

A new metro Detroit nonprofit is designed to provide more performance opportunities for underserved populations.

New Generation Fine Arts Foundation (NewGen) is the brainchild of Kendall Owens. The Plymouth native has headquartered NewGen in Canton and plans on serving all of metro Detroit.

The idea started while Owens was traveling in dance competitions, where she noticed minorities weren't well represented. NewGen is her attempt to help change that.
Kendall Owens. Photo courtesy Kendall Owens. Owens is also creating programming for the developmentally disabled. Dance is a great form of art therapy, she says, and can be beneficial for people of all sorts of backgrounds.

Where she gets the time to start a non-profit foundation is anyone's guess. Owens is an honors college double major--nursing and dance--undergrad at Western Michigan University and is just twenty years old.

"I'm a double major and learning so much about nursing and dance. Both increase quality of life," says Owens. "Finding that connection between the two has really pushed me. It's what motivates me."

Set to graduate in 2019, Owens plans on offering after-school programs and summer camps beginning in 2020. In the meantime, NewGen will launch its inaugural showcase event in 2018. Titled Blaqk Box, registration for the two-day event opens in March, auditions will be held in May, and the event itself will occur in July.

The first day of Blaqk Box will feature master classes and showcases from national talent, with workshops and storytelling sessions. A painting class will also be offered.

The second day will feature performances from those that registered in March.

"I want to try and bring opportunities to the underserved," says Owens. "If I had something like this, I would have been better prepared."

Visit New Generation Fine Arts Foundation online for registration information and more.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.