• First Person Arts
  • Email Sign up
  • Donate
  • About Us
  • Events
  • Social Impact
  • Storytelling
  • Festival
  • support_button
  • stories_button
  • Support

BEyond Expectations


Our newest program, BEyond Expectations: Engaging Males of Color, is a one-of-a-kind storytelling series celebrating the lives and experiences of males of color in Philadelphia. Everyday males of color are joined on stage by celebrity storytellers. Together all perform powerful personal tales that shatter misconceptions and give voice to their strength and resilient spirit.

Envisioned by City of Philadelphia DBHIDS Commissioner, Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr., the Engaging Males of Color (EMOC) initiative promotes mental wellness for men and boys of color in Philadelphia. For more info about DBHIDS’ EMOC initiative, click here.

Past BEyond Expectations celebrity performers include: Bryshere “Yazz” Gray of Fox’s hit TV series Empire (pictured above), Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots, Super Bowl Champion Raheem Brock, DJ Rich Medina, Grammy-winning musician Bilal, and hip-hop artist Freeway.

Past community storytellers include: Maxwell Brown, Tue Campbell, Michael Green, Christian Lovehall, Chris Lundy, Watoshiwa Moultry, Mohammed “Zeeshan” Nayeemuddin, Yannick Nelson-Haynes, Kamren Washington Richards, Harry S. Rivera, Craig Terry, Russell Walker, and Forrest Williams.

Praises for BEyond Expectations:

“We were so pleased to be involved with this great project. These students will remember you and how important you made them feel for the rest of their life.” – Dwayne Redd, Sponsor, State Farm Foundation

“The Philadelphia Foundation is proud to proud to partner with First Person Arts, the City and the Scattergood Foundation on an initiative amplifies the voice of males of color of all backgrounds and stages of life.” – Pedro A. Ramos, President & CEO of The Philadelphia Foundation

“Thank you this was a great event and opportunity! Excellent excellent excellent!!!!” – Cameron Scott, Event Attendee

DBHIDS-7_11 philly_web_logo_350px
Scattergood_Clear TPF LOGO (CMYK)
StateFarm TLFF_logo_RGB-MedRes-Trans

Print CreativePHL-Logo_HighRes PhillyReacts_logo1

Independence-Foundation-Logo AZ_RGB_H_POS(1)

logostandard_color_RGB_1inch(1) lomaxfoundlogo RDA Letterhead Logo New Name


Major support for BEyond Expectations has been provided by The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, The Lenfest Foundation, Scattergood Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, State Farm Foundation, The Lumpkin Family Foundation, Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Independence Foundation, AstraZeneca, Wells Fargo Foundation, Lomax Familiy Foundation, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, and WURD.

Upcoming Events
  • StorySlam: The Morning After
  • Date: July 30, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Venue: CSZ Philadelphia
  • Location: 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • StorySlam: Windfall
  • Date: August 27, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Venue: CSZ Philadelphia
  • Location: 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107