Level Up Studios is a creative arts studio in Pittsburgh that focuses on enriching the educational and artistic experiences of African American youths here in the city. Level Up Studios uses a range of creative disciplines, including Hip Hop Dance & Martial Arts, Creative Writing, Studio Production, and Visual Arts, to bring another dimension to learning for children and teens growing up in disadvantaged circumstances and difficult environments.
Inspired by hip hop culture, Level Up celebrates its positive roots and serves as a creative playground for underserved youth, local artists/ musicians and cultural enthusiasts.
Created out of a passion for community reinvestment, we aim to make art, music and movement accessible in life, not just the classroom.
Here we encourage students to explore their ideas through experimentation in the arts while building the skills to develop career related interests, self confidence, and cultural awareness.
Co-Owners Patrick Everett ( Creative Director), Shaun Mbateng( Chief Financial Officer), & Mario Quinn Lyles ( Executive Director)
Level Up Studios offers cultural programs such as martial arts (Kung Fu, Capoeira) classes, piano lessons, recording labs and dance workshops, where we’ve brought in nationally known dancers & choreographers.
Additionally, we host monthly art exhibitions every first Friday as part of Penn Ave's Unblurred gallery crawl, highlighting the work of local visual artists, musicians and dancers. Other enrichment programs we offer include summer camps, after school programming, teen workshops and a 'pay-what-you-can' community dance class once a week. In August 2019 we partnered with Assemble, Phase 4 Learning center, Best Buy Teen Tech Center and Demonstration in holding the 3rd annual Level Up Block Party, which consisted of live music, painting, dance performances, vending, and a back-to-school drive. Over the past year we have also partnered with The Dreamz of Music Foundation where we host fundraising showcases & events in support of disabled musicians in the Pittsburgh area.