On September 13th, 2019 FLOBEL Young Advisor and Creative Director of M.O.V.E (Motivation Opportunity Vision Entertainment), Nicole Johnson, will be celebrating 10 years of socially responsible artistic production and education at the M.O.V.E 2019 Gala experience.
Nicole’s Javanna Productions is a non-profit organization classified as 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service. Each year, the organization is known for producing an effort entitled M.O.V.E. Motivation Opportunity Vision Entertainment, that provides people of all ages with the resources needed to address social issues creatively. As the excitement grows around the 10 year anniversary Nicole seeks to invite new CBOs, community leaders, families and students into the work. 10 years later, Nicole says the organization feels like it’s entering into a new but similar feeling.
In 2009, a group of students produced the first of many M.O.V.E. shows where they raised funds and awareness for a social cause. Nicole’s relationship with her younger brother, Grant Johnson inspired the establishment of the MOVEment and continues to fuel her personal energy as an educator, community organizer and Creative Director of the organization.
Grant Johnson was diagnosed with Autism at age five and has developed a relationship with Nicole that has inspired her community service. At 15 years old, Nicole moved to NYC from her hometown of Miramar, FL to attend the Professional Performing Arts High School (PPAS) in midtown, NY. Although her family did not move to NYC, she maintained daily contact with them as she lived with different guardians in the city. Two years into her NY experience, Nicole began to reconsider her move, thinking often about how she wasn’t at home to be with her brother after his diagnosis. Learning more about Autism while she was in NY, Nicole connected with the Autism Speaks headquarters in NYC and recruited her friends to begin donating to the research center. That fall, family members from Florida were invited to a choreography showcase and fundraiser entitled M.O.V.E. For Autism at PPAS where Nicole and her friends informed the audience about the social cause, how to help community members with Autism and how to donate to advocacy and service organizations that are helping Autistic people. M.O.V.E. For Autism premiered on the PPAS MainStage in 2009 and was the first of many M.O.V.E. showcases in which Nicole provided artists with the resources needed to create socially responsible artistic pieces that raise funds and awareness for social causes. Soon after the show, Nicole developed the M.O.V.E. curriculum which encourages young people of all artistic disciplines to think critically about a social issue or cause in an effort to create a corresponding piece or program that educates and provokes the minds of people in their communities.
Throughout the Fall of 2019 M.O.V.E. will be engaging in capacity building, curriculum development, self awareness and educational pedagogy training with alumni of the organization and newcomers to strengthen classroom effectiveness in New York City schools. M.O.V.E. recognizes the lack of capacity that teachers struggle with in their schools daily. M.O.V.E. strongly believes U.S. K-12 education curriculum often lacks the social and emotional learning that helps students navigate the complexity of their circumstances beyond the classroom. Students eagerly await explanation for the social issues they experience in their homes, in their neighborhoods and on their television screens. An act of police brutality, a mother battling cancer, a school shooting, or a creeping substance misuse issue takes root in a student’s heart and becomes priority. As a result, students are often seeking an outlet for learning that helps them gain control of their emotions, articulate their frustrations and take action.
For the past 10 years M.O.V.E.’s intergenerational mission creates informal classroom experiences that bring families in the community together for the advocacy and support of social causes and issues including, Bigotry, Discrimination, Intolerance, Racism, Bullying, Accessibility, etc. The organization also supports students as they address social causes like Autism, Celiac Disease, Cancer Research, Suicide Prevention, Harm reduction, etc.
In 2020 M.O.V.E. will be providing support to five public schools throughout New York City and a host of charter and private academies. The gala is an opportunity for supporters to learn more about the work I’m doing with students and witness the MOVEment in action. Purchasing a ticket to the gala will also support us as we train and onboard 20 M.O.V.E. community organizers hired to strengthen the organizational capacity of partnering non-profits and social good campaigns in three of our M.O.V.E. Chapter States.