NEW ORLEANS — A special new music video is being produced under special circumstances, and it stars special children.
Jeremy Love runs The Prism Project, a weekly workshop serving children each spring, especially those on the autism spectrum, so they can experience the creative performance arts.
Professional staff trained in voice, instrument, dance, theater, and behavioral interventions, work with the children.
College volunteer students from a Tulane student organization called Tulane United for Autism, buddy up with them. Professional musicians collaborate as well.
The Prism Project of GNO was initially formed in New Orleans through the fiscal support and oversight of Families Helping Families of Southeast Louisiana.
When asked what she likes about the program, sixth grader Bella Hampsey said, “I like the dancing.”
Her father, Matt Hampsey, says it's helped his daughter become more confident.
“Definitely, it was the highlight of her week. Three hours every Saturday, it would just, you could see her spirit being lifted,” Matt Hampsey said.
Matt is a National Park Ranger and helped coordinate a partnership with The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
This year they decided to make a local culture music video.
“We first thought, should we make it about COVID? And we're like, ‘Nah, let’s just make it about the blues and if they want to sing about COVID, they can sing about COVID,’” said Jeremy Love, The Prism Project Creative and Administrative Director.
Some wrote about COVID, others didn't.
“Well one little boy, he said, ‘Popeye's ran out of red beans. I don't' know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna just buy three pieces of chicken and maybe a biscuit too,’” Singer and performer Charmaine Neville said with a smile.
The children sang with Charmaine Neville while a Loyola student film crew shot the video in Congo Square with other professional musicians.
“It was beautiful. It was like the most amazing thing to see these children have an experience that's not typical. They got even to go to a recording studio,” Love said.
“You could really see their spirits just shine through. That made my day,” Hampsey said.
“So, it was just a wonderful thing to be around these kids,” Neville added.
As for Bella’s favorite part? “I liked the second line,” she said.
The Prism Project is planning to release the new video in May.
For more on how children can sign up for 2022 spring Prism Project Season, you may enter your contact information through the Prism Project Sign Up Page
If you are interested in supporting The Prism Project of Greater New Orleans, you can support them, visit their website.
For more on Love's Music Therapy, click here.
For more on the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, click here.