Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Free creative arts seminars for kids and teens hosted by Just Be You Performing Arts

A series of free seminars designed for kids and teens in the creative arts will be hosted by Just Be You Performing Arts in Rahway and Bound Brook, New Jersey. Developed for youth interested in a career in the performing arts from ages 5 to 18 year’s old. To be held on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at the Bound Brook Memorial Library in Bound Brook, New Jersey and on  Thursday, August 22, 2019 at the Rahway Public Library in Rahway, New Jersey.
Created and instructed by, award-winning actress, Mahogany Reynolds, the “Just Be You Seminar” is a continuation of her organization’s mission to be what she calls “champions for children”. Just Be You Performing Arts; a New Jersey based mentoring and enrichment organization was founded in 2013. Since that time, the organization has hosted several free workshops for kids and teens.
No acting or performing arts experience is required to participate in the workshops. The programs are designed to help young people express themselves in a fun, creative and inspiring way. Thanks in part to the support of Hector Herrera, Borough Administrator, Borough of Bound Brook, Reynolds was able to forge a partnership with the Bound Brook Memorial Library. The workshop on August 3 is therefore an official library program.

Mahogany Reynolds
“I am very grateful to the amazing staff of the Bound Brook Memorial Library and Mr. Herrera. I pitched this idea to them with high hopes. Being able to partner with them is a dream come true. I wish to expand upon this and reach more kids throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Reynolds, who will produce a Kwanzaa Celebration in partnership with the Easton Pennsylvania Area Public Library in December 2019.

Just Be You Seminar Highlights
The first seminar in the series was held on Saturday, July 20, 2019, in the Rahway Public Library’s auditorium room. It was an independent program run by Just Be You Performing Arts. Young performing across learned beginner technique skills in acting and stage presence. They also learned communication and public speaking skills. During the workshop, each participant is guided in a creative expression exercise created by Reynolds, entitled “The Who Am I Monologues”, which they perform at the conclusion of the seminar.
“My primary objective is to help these young people realize the value and importance of knowing who they are. By teaching them this at a young age, it will hopefully stick with them, as they grow in the industry. Knowing who you are and embracing the concept of ‘just be you’, is a great foundation upon which to not only build a career with substance, but a life of substance,” said Reynolds.
“I love this workshop! Learning how to keep themselves grounded for themselves is important because they won’t be manipulated by anyone. If they’re not grounded, the industry may manipulate them into being something they are not, and they may not be happen with themselves,” said Kaydee Barnett, of Brooklyn, New York, host and producer of the nationally syndicated radio talk show, “On the Edge Show with Kaydee Barnett”. Her teenage son, CJ, attended the Rahway workshop on July 20.
The “Who Am I Monologues” were first introduced to a group of thirty teens as part of the Rahway Local Organizing Committee (Rahway LOC) 11th Annual Rites of Passage Program. A mentoring program for city youth age 13 to 18 year’s-old. Reynolds was contracted to conduct a series of creative expression workshops for the teens during the 22 week program. During the workshops she taught stage presence skills, public speaking, and building confidence. At the Rites of Passage Banquet, several of the teens performed the “Who Am I Monologues”. Each monologue was written by the teens, none of which were actors, with the guidance of Reynolds; as their director and mentor.
“I enjoyed every moment of the workshop and truly believe the children received something that they don't get from the school district! These kids were able to talk about things they typically hold inside. I could see how it changed many of them and helped them to open up. It really effected them in a good way. And once the other teens saw their peers reciting their monologues, it encouraged them to participate as well. I am thankful to Mahogany for being a part of our program,” said Rosalyn Smith, Rahway LOC Chairperson.

Registration for Seminars

Kids and teens age grades 2nd to 5th can register for the Just Be You Seminar being held at the Bound Brook Memorial Library on Saturday August 3, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.; by email to:, or by signing up at the library. Registration deadline is August 3.

Kids and teens age 5 to 18 year’s-old can register for the Just Be You Seminar being held at the Rahway Public Library on Thursday, August 22, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. by email to: . Registration is required. Deadline to register is August 20.

The workshop series is also being offered, free of charge, to kids and teens, during the 2nd Annual Just Be You Performing Arts Youth Film Festival, to be held on Friday, August 30, 2019, at the Paul Robeson Campus Center Dance Theater, Rutgers University, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07201. To learn more about the seminar series, or to become a sponsor or vendor, visit their website:

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