For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                         May 17, 2016

FUSE Fest Celebrates Urban Life, Igniting Hope and Positive Energy in the Community
(Norfolk, VA) - The non-profit organization, TWP (Teens with a Purpose) - The Youth Movement is creating a safe and healthy community in Norfolk with F.U.S.E. Fest, (Focus on peace, Unity, Spirit and Edutainment) a community event encouraging unity with a focus on family fun for all ages. Fuse Fest is sponsored by a national organization, Youth Speaks and the City of Norfolk. In its fourth year, this interactive event has transitioned from a teen-led event to a teen and community led experience. Fuse Fest celebrates the heart of inner-city Norfolk through this intergenerational festival in the downtown Church Street District. 

Through this community festival, Teens With a Purpose and it's numerous collaborative partners, plan to affirm the beauty of community. Residents from Young Terrace, Calvert Square, Olde Huntersville, and the surrounding neighborhoods will come together to partake in a unique arts and cultural experience that includes: a hands on public art project; interactive play; back to school giveaways, a kids zone with petting zoo, community step, cheerleading and open mic, health screening; a community garden, local and national talent on the main stage, free food and so much more.
Hodari Davis and Joan Osato of Youth Speaks at the Martin Luther King Memorial Plaza Corner of Church St & Brambleton Ave Mapping for 2016 Fuse Fest

Fuse Fest aims to dismantle negative attitudes and beliefs held by and about this community, elevate spirits and fostering stronger bonds between every segment of community to help increase peace and harmony in Norfolk.

Fuse Fest, will be amplified by the Life is Living experience. Youth Speaks, founded in 1996 in San Francisco, creates platforms for local, national, and increasingly global movement of young people picking up pens and stepping proudly onto stages, declaring themselves present. Youth Speaks awarded Teens With a Purpose a grant to expand Fuse Fest through the Life is Living Project. The Life is Living Project Grant exists to support organizations that are focused on engaging specific underserved segments of their city to create a transformative experience by developing community projects centered on the lives and experiences of urban communities.

Life is Living Festivals are happening in cities around the United States, including Oakland, Chicago, Houston, New York, Atlanta and Philadelphia. In October 2008, the first Life is Living Festival filled the streets and empty spaces of West Oakland's DeFremery Park with large and small-scale art installations, performance, dance, music, skating, light installations, and other forms of multi-media projects.

Service Project and Community Team Building with TWP Teen leaders, Youth Speaks, FoodBank of South Eastern Virginia and S.O.W.
From May 10th through May 12th the festival's Executive Leadership staff came to meet with TWP and key city leaders such as Wynter Benda, Deputy City Manager, Norfolk Chief of Police, Goldsmith, Duty Chief Boone, Anne Corso, Director of Education and Public Programs, Michael Berlucchi, Community Engagement Manager, Chrysler Museum plus various civic and community leaders and youth engaged in this pivotal venture. Hodari Davis, National Program Director at Youth Speaks said: "We selected Teens With a Purpose for the Life is Living Program Grant largely because of the work they are already doing within a cross sector of the community. By using poetry and music as a gateway to critical conversations and action they are improving the health and wellbeing of young people in Norfolk and throughout Hampton Roads" Fuse Fest will take place Saturday, September 3rd from noon until 8pm on the open lots at Church Street and East Olney Road across from the Vivian C. Mason Art and Technology Center for Teens 700 E. Olney Road.

About Teens With a Purpose
Our mission: TWP-The Youth Movement, also known as Teens With a Purpose, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit, creative, youth development organization. Our mission is "to create a help empower young people to use their voices, energy, abilities and talent to demonstrate their power to effect personal change and positively impact the lives of others through the arts, peer-led programs and events. We create a safe, non-judgmental environment for self-expression for all young people as we continue to promote healthy life choices." Simply put, Teens Creatively Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders." Workshops are offered in collaboration with Norfolk Recreation, Parks and Open Space at the VCM Teen Center Monday - Thursdays. For additional, information visit our website