Status4 teaching kids a universal language

By Jim Maloway, MLA for Elmwood

As Published in The Herald

March 9th, 2015

Status4 singers led by (pictured at right) director of music programs – cultural liaison, Gentil Misigaro.

If anyone understands how music is a universal language, it’s Kevin Gibson.

In 2011, this former police officer founded Status4, a non-profit organization that provides free and accessible music and media programs to young people—in particular, underserved and at-risk youth. Inspired by the motto "be yourself and free yourself," Status4 uses music and the arts to empower young people to make a positive change in their lives.

Status 4 has already made a difference to so many of the young people in the Elmwood area. These kids are fantastic musicians. I’ve had the chance to see them at the last few Lord Selkirk Christmas dinners and at community forums at the Elmwood East Kildonan Active Living Centre. They always put on a great show!

But Status4 is about much more than just teaching kids how to play an instrument. Status4 also serves as an important resource for youth to connect with other community outreach programs in the area so that they can receive all of the support available to them.

Helping to bridge the gap between young people and service providers is what makes Status4 so unique. They are providing great music programs, while helping young people find the resources they need to make the best choices for their future.

Recently, our provincial government was able to help Status4 upgrade its audio/video equipment though a Winnipeg Community Infrastructure Program grant. This equipment is a key part of their new program called the LAVA project, or Leadership Through Audio/Video Arts, a partnership project between Elmwood High School and Status4.

Through the LAVA project, young people can learn the fundamentals of audio/video productions and experience the recording studio environment. They can then shoot and edit their own video productions in the Status4 studio.

I’m proud that our government has the long-term vision to support organizations like Status4, which make such a difference in the lives of our young people.

If you want to learn more about how you can support Status4, please visit their website at www.status4.ca or call my office at 204-415-1122 or email me at Jim.Maloway@YourManitoba.ca.