Welcome to The Beatbox archived website.

The Beatbox youth center pilot project ended in June 2003. With the exception of this messege, this website is as it was the day we closed.
Please check http://www.thebeatbox.org for information on current Beatbox projects.

Thanks for your support, we are currently working on replicating The Beatbox in other communities. Please contact rwells@thebeatbox.org if you are interested in being involved.

I'll be in this rap sh*t till my f*ckin heart stops! - rugged ra

Location: About Us
The Basic Beat
History of the Beatbox
Programs and Projects
Friends and Supporters
Advisory Board
History and Vision

The roots of The Beatbox can be traced back to the basement of a business in Fairfield, Iowa in August 1999. 19 year-old Roland Wells had recently moved back to Fairfield after living for two years in Atlanta, Georgia and Phoenix, Arizona. He felt that there was a need in Fairfield for shared space where local youth could participate in creative activities and enjoy a supportive and respectful environment enriched with ideas of peer mentoring and expressive freedom. He rented out a business' basement and started activities influenced by youth hip hop culture, including break dancing, deejaying classes, and Saturday night dances.

Meanwhile, Julie Babb and Barbara Rail, two mothers of teenagers and youth advocates, had obtained IRS recognition for a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization entitled Fairfield Youth Advocacy. In January 2000, Babb's 18 year-old son introduced them to Wells, and they found that they shared a vision of providing a safe and healthy environment for Fairfield's youth. A partnership was formed between the two mothers and the teenager and in May 2000, Fairfield Youth Advocacy dba The Beatbox opened in a 2000 square foot facility.

An overwhelming demand for space to continue and expand youth programming necessitated the purchase of a new building and in November 2001, The Beatbox moved to an 8500 square foot facility right off of Fairfield's main square. Babb and Wells have continued to serve as co-directors since then, with Rail serving as an advisor in the mission to promote positive youth development through innovative programs in a safe, clean environment.

The vision of The Beatbox remains a guiding light in all of our programs and activities.

We envision a community that welcomes all youth and supporters of youth to a safe, engaging, inclusive and respectful environment and encourages them to enhance their personal, social, economic, and educational development.

We envision a rural youth that are given equal opportunities to better themselves through access to creative and educational activities as youth in urban and suburban areas.

We envision a rural community confronting the economic, cultural, and technological challenges associated with living in areas of periphery and we envision a rural youth whom are provided the skills to help revitalize, build, sustain, and lead strong rural communities.

We envision a community of adults that is educated, understanding, and supportive of the needs of youth and responds to these needs with volunteer efforts, successful programs, and continuous emotional, mental, physical, and financial support.

The goals of The Beatbox are achieved with every youth inspired to follow a dream, every entrepreneur enriched economically, every person educated through technology, and every individual empowered through social activity.