+ Listen first
At SDM, we believe that we always need to listen first: to the community in which we're implementing dance and music programs, to the passionate dancers and musicians who are already present in the communities, to other nonprofits who have been working in the area for longer than we have.
As a team of individuals from around the world, we bring a range of unique perspectives on development, the arts, and community to our work at SDM. However, we know that we cannot provide cut-and-dry answers to the incredibly difficult situations these children face every day. We simply bring a passion for listening and providing support where we can.
+ Partner with local organizations
SDM's vision is to go into the community implementing music and dance programs. We partner with local organizations and nonprofits that work with children bringing in musicians and dancers to give the children who attend these programs a chance to experience the change that music and dance, implemented purposefully, can bring to their lives.
This model is effective for several reasons: we're able to reach a greater number of children by partnering with other organizations, we are able to support these other wonderful organizations in the process, and we are able to expand more easily to other regions within Central America.
+ Work with local dancers and musicians
This is a huge one. Working with the local arts community to provide dance and music workshops and events is always SDM's goal. There are wonderful dancers and musicians in Central America who are best equipped to run classes that support at-risk children. However, they don't often have the support to do so. SDM is a space where we partner with the dancers and musicians so they can structure classes that promote resiliency, emotional expression, community building, and empowerment.
We also make a point of somehow compensating every local dancer and musician who works with us to fulfill SDM's mission. We are aware that it can be tough to give back to the community when it comes at a cost. At SDM, we also know that making a living off the arts is difficult, not only in Central America but around the world, and that the arts are something that are of incredible value.