Our Story

AngelStreet began in November 2013 when a leader from Hope Church requested for a children’s choir to sing during a Women’s Christmas Dinner. Jill Dyson and Ruth Abigail Smith assembled a group of eleven girls from Oasis of Hope (in North Memphis) and STREETS Ministries. During a few short weeks, the group rehearsed, wrote and professionally recorded an original song, and performed in front of 1000 guests. They quickly realized they enjoyed the time spent together learning about music but even more connecting as girls and women. 

Through the following months, the volunteer staff planned what the upcoming school year could hold for AngelStreet. Research they conducted showed a void of the arts in nearby schools as well as a lack of creative programs available to females. Oasis of Hope partnered with the team to help launch the new program. Recruitment in local schools and auditions took place resulting in a group of young ladies who sought an outlet for afterschool activities focused on music and fun. To date, auditions continue every fall and over 300 lives have been (and continue to be) enhanced through the power of music and mentoring... Read More

In 2018, AngelStreet expanded its wings to add a second chapter located at STREETS Ministries (Graham Heights). We are thrilled to provide creative, all-female mentoring opportunities in partnership with such wonderful organizations.

AngelStreet is regularly invited to perform at large and small events throughout the Memphis area for private, corporate, and church audiences. Participants have sung for local government officials, President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, nationally-recognized authors/speakers/actors, and alongside Christian artists Mandisa and TobyMac during the 2018 K-LOVE Fan Awards at the legendary Grand Ole Opry.

Since 2013, we have seen over 300 girls walk through our doors.

We have established a notable presence in the Memphis community, working with at-risk girls (ages 8-18) in the North Memphis and Graham Heights Communities. Each year, we recruit girls from Memphis Scholars Caldwell-Guthrie, KIPP Memphis Collegiate School, Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School, Kingsbury Middle School, Kingsbury High School, and other local schools to “audition” into the program. We keep our girls safe – and off the street – by offering a creative outlet to develop their artistic potential through song and music. In the process, the girls develop confidence, team-building and cooperation, all needed life skills.

Metrics, data collection and evaluation are imperative to AngelStreet’s evolution. Students surveyed told us that: 41% said that they either rarely or never sang in front of an audience prior to AngelStreet, 98% said that they are not afraid to sing in front of an audience most of the time since participating in AngelStreet and 85% of the girls said that they ALWAYS feel safe at AngelStreet. We believe the numbers tell us what’s needed... fellowship, safe places and increasing confidence and leadership through song in our girls.

Children living in poverty are most at risk for juvenile delinquency, truancy and other negative behaviors, especially young women. Further, research shows that these experiences increase the probability of girls dropping out of school and falling victim to other negative behaviors. We feel certain the success, like our North Memphis chapter, will duplicate in Graham Heights and we look forward to growing more relationships with partners who will help support our efforts.  Thank you for continued partnership and support!

Arts/Music programs are shown to significantly improve the overall education and achievements of students.

  • Students who study art and music are 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3x more likely to be awarded for school attendance
  • The strategy of using music education in an urban context positively impacts the youth and strengthens the community being used as an intervention model
  • Constant music and theater study corresponds with higher achievement in math and reading
  • Multiple studies show that art studies and activities help keep high-risk dropout students in school
  • High school students who participate in the arts are more likely to continue to participate as young adults and to have higher levels of educational attainment
  • In a study of a high-poverty schools in Chicago, schools participating in Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) made huge strides in closing the gap between high- and low-income students’ academic achievement