Alphabet Rockers make music that sparks change.
ALPHABET ROCKERS make music that sparks change. Founded by Kaitlin McGaw (she/her) and Tommy Soulati Shepherd (he/him/they), the co-led Alphabet Rockers have been in an active conversation for over 15 years, asking the question: “how can we create a culture of belonging?”
People often want to know just how we built this impossible vision - of creating music and experiences that would bring us together in a world that was keeping us apart.
In 2007, when we started Alphabet Rockers we were using hip-hop to teach kids about shapes, numbers, and letters. We soon realized that there was a bigger need in our communities. We discovered children were being bullied and subjected to biases, and their parents reached out to us for help. Alphabet Rockers decided to address these issues head-on in our personal lives and through our music and engagements.
What makes us truly impactful is our inquiry-based approach. We listen to people to understand their needs.
When we as leaders understand people’s needs, we can honor them in everything we create. We can become comfortable being uncomfortable - trusting that we are learning and broadening our perspectives and pathways.
We’ve found that Alphabet Rockers can translate this understanding into music that connects our heads to our hearts. For children, they learn a common language that links how they feel to what they know. For grown-ups, the music rekindles the power of our hearts to understand one another.
As we focused our work on sparking conversations, we found more critical acclaim than we knew possible. From the Kennedy Center to Lollapalooza, the Children’s Music Network to the GRAMMY Awards, we moved the conversation from quiet spaces amongst afflicted families to an international stage for empathy. We realized we were building cultures of belonging everywhere, from small towns to big cities.
We are influencing the shifting of mindsets and creating lasting impact. With our music and media we are taking this dialogue from the classroom to the schoolyard, from the streets into people's homes. We stage performances where everyone moves together as we make moves together, including the presenters as we evolve in our journeys to equity. We develop young voices and movers and share our stage around the country. We weave new narratives into books and media while supporting the evolution of our partners in distribution. We provide creative opportunities and mentorship for diverse artists around the country, We inspire crowds in keynotes that tap us into our collaborations and our collective purpose.
Alphabet Rockers continue to transform communities. We bring joy to the table, even when addressing some of the toughest topics of our times. It shows up in how educators teach, how parents understand, and how media creatives design for the world we deserve. We’re building a common language of inclusion that we can all access - one that you can integrate into your work, family, educational and creative collaborations.
Our conversation remains rooted in listening to understand- we create space for real connection no matter what age or experience you bring to the space.
We want everyone to play a part in this conversation.
Alphabet Rockers is important music... it creates the culture that is the reality of the world we want.
- W. Kamau Bell, Emmy-Award Winner, CNN
- Bringing joy.
- Asking questions.
- Being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
- Practicing antiracism at all ages.
- Meeting you where you are at - and moving together.
- Music that connects our heads + hearts.
- Media that models a culture of belonging.
- Performances for all ages.
- Keynotes that inspire purpose and collaboration.
- Workshops for team building and creative impact.
- Mentorship for young changemakers
- Picture books, curriculum + more
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