Our Mission.

Port City Studios (PCS) is an idea for action developed by Kevin Blackburn of DREAMS of Wilmington Inc. DREAMS of Wilmington is a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to building creative, committed citizens, one child at a time, through providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge programming in the literary, visual, multimedia and performing arts. Working under the umbrella of DREAMS of Wilmington, Port City Studios will be a place dedicated to providing local teens with a creative outlet for musical expression. This studio will be created with the goal of attracting at-risk teens, though it will be open to the public. PCS aims to serve as a positive, creative, and productive outlet for self-expression. Though associated with DREAMS, PCS will occupy a completely separate physical location. This will attract teens who see DREAMS stigmatized as an arts program for little boys and girls. By giving these teens a positive, exciting place to hang-out, create music, and write thoughtful lyrics, we are molding these young individuals into better people, and people who are better able to be a force for good in communities struggling with poverty, abuse, gangs, and crime.
There is a dire need for a positive, constructive place solely for at-risk teens in Wilmington, NC. There is a particular need for such a place for at-risk young men. There are several organizations around Wilmington that provide after-school care, but no one that specifically seeks to offer an intensive, exciting, positive outlet for these teens to express themselves. At-risk teens are “at-risk” in the sense that they are most likely from single parent families, dysfunctional family units, have been exposed to violence, substance abuse, and other negative influences from a very young age. This can cause a whole host of socio-emotional issues that teens often spend the rest of their lives battling.
One of the primary goals of Port City Studios is to help teens to reflect on their lives and find lyrical inspiration in what they have seen and been through. By empowering teens with words, the studio will help foster critical thinking and self-reflection. Furthermore, the studio will also provide teens with knowledge and skills for success. The curriculum surrounding PCS will consist of four components: digital music production, songwriting, hip hop history, and media promotion & marketing. Learning real-life skills like music production and recording engineering will give teens an edge against their peers when applying for college or when starting a career. By working through the many steps to create, record, and market a professional quality track, teens are shown the importance of hard work and perseverance.