Through MindLeaps International Artists’ Fund (IAF),

world renowned performers bring awareness to the needs of Rwanda’s

street youth. This year’s special guest, Misty Copeland, helps launch

the inaugural girls program and presents the “Misty Copeland Scholarship.”

How do the artists participate in the IAF?

The IAF is a way for artists to show that we do not forget the world’s poor in a nonpolitical way; instead, we use our own gifts – such as the arts – to find a way to bring hope and recovery to the future generations.

Our artists travel to the MindLeaps’ program in Rwanda where they see in practice how dance is being used to attract youth off the streets and channel them back into education.

They learn about the country’s history and see first-hand the impact of investing in Rwandan children.  The artists invite their followers around the world to follow their journey and bring a critical level of awareness to these children’s plight.

LaMar Baylor

IAF Artist, Rwanda 2011 & 2013
Dancer, Disney’s “The Lion King” on Broadway
“These children – their lives – are nothing we can begin to even fathom. They have been through things that no one should ever have to go through.”

Ashley Werhun

IAF Artist, Rwanda 2015
Dancer, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal

“These rhythms meant so much more than counts, and the movements more than shapes. I could feel each child’s spirit in full celebration.”

Mark Caserta

IAF Artist, Rwanda 2015
Dancer, Complexions Contemporary Ballet

“You become so filled with mixed emotions because you see how people can have close to nothing, but exude so much love, joy and appreciation for the little things that they do have.”


Nicole Corea

IAF Artist, Rwanda 2014 & 2015
Dancer, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

“We wanted to be a part of something big. We were actively participating in making the world wake up to the power of humanity.  Despite all that has happened in Rwanda and all over the world, we all chose to share our stories and then start writing new ones. “

Dancers of MindLeaps’ International Artists Fund

Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre

LaMar Baylor, The Lion King

Mark Caserta, Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Ashley Werhun, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal

Tracy Vogt, Philadanco

Victor Lewis Jr, Philadanco

Chloe Davis, The Addams Family Musical

DuJuan Smart Jr, Bad Boys of Ballet

Nicole Corea, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company