Moves & Grooves, Inc.
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301 S. Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37211
Organization Details



Moves & Grooves, INC. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is committed to enhancing the lives of at-risk youth through arts and education within the Metro Nashville area. Our mission is to enrich the lives of youth by empowering them to discover their potential through academic achievement and the arts. We do this by using the ARTS as a platform to engage youth in self-exploration, while providing opportunities for leadership, education, and service. We seek to inspire youth to create for themselves, discover, learn, and grow through the arts.


Moves and Grooves, or M.A.G., was founded in 2002 by Emerald Mitchell. While in high school, Emerald Mitchell graduated from the Self Enhancement Inc. Program, which became the model for M.A.G. As a graduate of a performing arts high school, Emerald understood the profound impact the arts can have in a young person's life. In the spirit of 'giving back' she decided to volunteer her dance talents at a local community center near her university. A community center full of students with no motivation now found them concentrating and working hard to learn the intricate rhythmic moves Emerald had choreographed. Their tattered storage room became a make-shift dance studio where students could receive help with homework and find freedom through dance.

Once established as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2003, M.A.G. began a contract with 3 Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide dance and tutoring inside the classroom. Since our humbled beginnings, M.A.G. opens our doors in the heart of South Nashville, TN to serve over 200 youth annually. In 2012, M.A.G. was selected as a NAZA (Nashville After Zone Alliance) Anchor Partner, which allowed the expansion of our after school program to serve 75 more students attending Croft, Apollo, Antioch, Thurgood Marshall, IT Creswell and John Early Middle Schools in Davidson County. M.A.G. opened its 1st elementary site in January 2015 serving 60 students at AZ Kelley Elementary. M.A.G's art-infused, project-based learning experience is FREE to all students attending those schools.

M.A.G. has received 2 editorial interviews in the Tennessean newspaper in 2013-14 and received financial support from the HCA Foundation and Metro Development & Housing Agency. M.A.G. recently received a multi-year grant from the 21st Century LEAPS Lottery Fund to support additional STEAM after school programming for young girls. Wal-Mart, TN Arts Commission and other donors across TN have also continued to generously support our enrichment efforts.

As M.A.G. celebrates nearly 2 decades of service, it is a testament to young people that using your gifts and talents to serve and inspire others is one of the most powerful and rewarding things one can do in life. We will continue to fulfill the mission to empower youth through the arts. By creating relevant programs for youth and connecting with the needs of the community, we will be equipped to serve the youth of Middle TN with the BEST in quality arts, health, and education services


Moves & Grooves continues to make gains as the company has more than doubled its student population and staff over the past year. With help from our current sponsors NAZA (Nashville After Zone Alliance) and the 21st Century LEAPS program, Moves & Grooves now serves students within five Davidson County Public Schools. Here are a few highlights from 2021:

-100% of our Moves & Grooves high school students avoided juvenile crime and graduated on time.

-96% of Moves & Grooves students agree they are 'more interested' in attending college and pursuing Stem careers since being part of our after-school and/or summer program

-91% of Middle school students agree that Moves & Grooves provides safety, a positive challenge, and makes them want to learn more new things.

-25 teen girls learned about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships.

-23 received workforce development training and skills research, design, and urban planning skills through our summer youth employment program.

-45 middle school students engaged 90 minutes of various STEM activities to create career exposure and prepare them with the necessary skills for this rapidly growing career field.

-78% of our students grades 5-8 increased reading and/ or math scores within 1 year.

-90% of our students grades 5-8 improved overall school attendance.

-We have served over 250 students for 30 days or more in our before and after-school program, which uses a project-based learning approach in connection with S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Education, Arts, & Math) activities to encourage students to bridge learning to real world issues.

-Annually, over 200 elementary students receive a free children's book and cool sunglasses to take home to promote that reading is cool and fun.

- We have kept students physically active for a minimum of 60 minutes a day, an average 12,000 calories burned per class, per hour during our after-school hip-hop and jazz dance training.


I. After almost 20 years of service, Moves & Grooves needs a permanent facility to serve over 7,000 youth in Davidson County, as well as operate after-school, spring break and summer arts and learning activities for grades K-12. We must provide a space where students can continue learning in a safe place when school is not in session.

II. Five 30-passenger busses/vans to ensure we can offer consistent, safe transportation to and from our programs. Students cannot take advantage of our programs/services if they do not have access to Moves & Grooves.

III. Moves & Grooves needs dedicated volunteers to assist with administrative/office help, use their talents/skill in our programming, and help before and during our multiple annual events. They say it takes a village to raise a child and Moves & Grooves hopes you will join our village to impact the lives of at-risk youth in Middle TN.

CEO Statement

When one takes the time to really examine the current happenings in our communities, in particular as it relates to young people, the statement "the children are the future" becomes much more than a cliche. As the Executive Director of Moves and Grooves, I, along with my Board, staff, and invaluable volunteers understand the importance of that short, but potent, statement. Therefore, Moves and Grooves is an organization that seeks to provide education through arts, health and music education to young people between the ages of 5-18 within Metro Nashville who are considered to be in at-risk environments. The tools and services we offer to our participants include dance, academic enrichment, mentoring, and various educational and personal achievement-focused workshops. We offer an extensive summer program which integrates art, theater, and physical fitness to raise awareness and prevent childhood obesity among youth throughout Middle Tennessee.

Moves and Grooves is not simply a one dimensional organization. We believe in emphasizing respect, confidence, and the appreciation of culture and the arts. We understand that there are so many negative influences in the world, but we hope that through the programs and services offered through Moves and Grooves, we can be a beacon of light and hope for our students. Our ultimate goal is to empower young people to find better ways of handling the pressures of everyday life while strengthening their mind, body, and spirit. Teaching them to think critically, problem solve, communicate, and collaborate to reach a desired goal, we see students not for what they are, but what they could be. In essence, Moves and Grooves teaches kids that 'Life Has Options.' With clear expectations, positive reinforcement, and an encouraging team of adults, we help students discover the path that works best for them.

Service Categories

Primary Category: Arts, Culture & Humanities  - Arts,Culture & Humanities NEC 
Secondary Category: Education  - Educational Services 
Tertiary Category: Mental Health & Crisis Intervention  -  

Areas Served

MAG targets Middle Tennessee, Nashville, Davidson County.

TN - Davidson