HELLO AMERICA!—I’ve been reminded by so many friends and teachers who have supported my artistic achievements and efforts all my life that I have a responsibility to open doors to those with talent, unsupported artistic, creative gifts who are lost, totally unknowing what or how to let the world know who they really are or what they might contribute to enhance the American dream.

Recently, I had a sobering last meeting with Elizabeth Warwick, my former 99-year old U.S.C. professor of literature; she reminded me that I have a responsibility to help those who are gifted as dancers, singers, actors, writers and even those interested in theatre crafts.

“I remember how you singled out some of the students who could not afford a dance class or a singing session and spent time working and rehearsing with them on that campus,” she quietly reminded. “You never asked for payment from them, you seem to enjoy the idea of helping them become better at what they loved doing best.”

The professor went on to note that many of our community issues and problems might be eradicated should there be a place or center to express their feelings, ideas, emotions exploring the dance, theatre works or young painters with the guidance of experienced and caring professionals who genuinely want to diminish the powers-that-be who choose to ignore extremely talented people who might be waiting at the traditional studio gate.

“You should get out there,” she continued, “and remind people that it does take a village to make things happen, especially in our country. Go to the people, like you did when you auditioned for all those classical plays being produced on the U.S.C. campus under Bill White and the rest of those very talented people around at that time. They realized they couldn’t stop you then and I know you’re the same tough, determined human-being you were then. If you want to give back, give serious consideration about a kind of World Arts Academy which would be an open door to opportunity! I hope you take the idea seriously, because this, as I see it, is where you belong!”

After a few tears, saying my goodbye to one of the most influential people in my life who after two weeks left us, I feel that before I come to the same inevitable end, I will attempt at forming the Michael St. John World Arts Academy, a place accessible to talented people nationwide. All those who might enjoy creating, investing some time in making the dream a reality please contact: michaelstjohn2000@yahoo.com.

I’m asking all of you across the nation, who realizes the urgency for this kind of artistic effort, especially in the light that our Congress has defunded most of the schools and or community programs previously opened to young people, leaving little for them to hope for. So, all of you out there who might enjoy the JOURNEY I’m offering, PLEASE don’t hesitate to let me know. I have numerous entertainment celebrities who have already signed on. I KNOW WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN. IT’S THE KIND OF PEOPLE WE ARE!

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