Launched in 2013 by multi Grammy-award & Oscar winning artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith and distinguished educator, Donnie Smith, Donda’s House, Inc. provides unprecedented access and education from leading experts in the music, fashion, and entertainment industry to Chicago’s creative youth and young adults. Donda’s House has direct access to the most accomplished professionals, artists and curators in the industry and leverages these connections to provide training, incentives and employment opportunities for the programs participants who are 14 – 24 years old.
To date, Donda’s House has served over 300 artists through its curriculum-based programs. Donda’s House also curates large-scale community events including AAHH! Fest in partnership with Common and the Common Ground Foundation, Peace on the Beach and Teens in the Park (TIP) Fest with Chicago Park District and in 2017, the organization will be partnering with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and AARP to create an intergenerational music program called Bridges which will connect youth to established Blues Artists, resulting in performances at the historic Chicago Blues Festival. To date, Donda’s House has offered satellite programming at the ARK of St. Sabina, Harold Washington Library and Columbia College.
Dr. Donda West will be remembered as the mother of Kanye Omari West, but she stands on her own merit as doctor of education, professor of English, curriculum designer, entertainment manager, and world traveler who inspired her students to fulfill their potential .