Founded in 2012, Project Level is a groundbreaking, socially active non-profit program that nurtures the creative needs of at-risk and underserved Bay Area inner-city youth. Our team is dedicated to providing a safe, experiential learning environment where youth can freely express themselves through the arts.
In San Francisco, youth are enthralled by the arts. Everything from their lifestyle to the way they dress is influenced by music and pop culture. Project Level seeks to harness this creative energy in a positive way, helping students leverage their talents and passions to be successful in both their future careers and in life.
Our methodology is simple – we seek to expand and build upon the typical music program. Our students are recruited from high school wellness centers, community programs and sometimes even referred to us by guidance counselors and parole offices. Many have challenging home lives, issues at school or other special needs. We identify each student’s individual needs, interests and talents and work together to set and achieve goals.
Through year-round programming, students work with mentors and industry professionals to learn all aspects of the entertainment industry. Our focus areas include music, film, fashion, dance, and marketing with specialties ranging from studio recording and graphic design to photography, video production, business development, and journalism. We teach our students to be resilient, help them develop self-discipline and self-esteem. And we build strong leadership skills that last a lifetime – helping them succeed at home, in their communities and in the workplace.
Our founders, Richard “Big Rich” Bougere and Danielle Banks created Project Level after pursuing successful hip hop careers both in front of and behind the microphone. They are actively involved in all aspects of the day-to-day direction of Project Level. Raised in San Francisco, Big Rich and Danielle each had an interest in the arts growing up, but like many of our students, they struggled to find mentors who understood their dreams and did not have outlets to express themselves.
Opening Project Level is a dream come true for Big Rich and Danielle and the ultimate way for them to pay it forward. Together, with our team, they mentor and inspire students, always finding new ways to build our programming and help kids succeed.
Project Level changes lives by educating, inspiring and motivating San Francisco’s at-risk and underserved youth through the arts.