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  • Dr. J. Nathan Corbitt

Co-founders of BaB Retire

Philadelphia, PA-In 1997, BuildaBridge(BaB) International opened up its doors as one of few organizations intentionally engaged in using the arts for resilience and healing in communities with vulnerable populations.

Now 20 years later BuildaBridge co-founders, Drs. J. Nathan Corbitt and Vivian Nix-Early plan to retire from their senior leadership positions to leave their legacy to the newly onboarded Executive Director, Ami Yares and the board of directors.

As I contemplate the 20 years since Nathan and I founded BuildaBridge, I am thankful for the many people and organizations that have helped BuildaBridge have a significant impact – an impact that has transformed the lives of vulnerable children and families as well as improved the ways our artists and partner organizations work with people. During our tenure as founding leaders, BuildaBridge has trained over 1,800 artists and engaged 2,000 volunteers who have given over 160,000 hours of service to directly impact the lives of more than 9,900 children and adults in 26 countries – through art-making,

said Nix-Early regarding her experience with BuildaBridge.

BuildaBridge International (BaB) is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that offers trauma-informed, arts-based programming around the globe. It seeks to impact people groups who struggle with poverty, homelessness, human trafficking,abuse and displacement due to war, famine and political persecution. BaB accomplishes this through direct service and through training artists in their own communities to empower those with greatest need, to facilitate their resilience in order that live with hope and a vision for their lives. Recently, a team of BaB board members and artists-on-call completed a trip to the Netherlands to survey organizations serving refugees in order establish future partnerships in Europe. The Philadelphia Refugee Project and Orchestral Dialogues are thriving under the leadership of Dr. Janelle Junkin and Stevie French.

It’s all good. What began as a service project with a small team of visiting and local artists to Costa Rica led to a vision for engaging creative people in service to others. I am always amazed at and will always remember the courage, empathy, and creative responses, very often in cross-cultural contexts and crisis situations, of so many wonderful committed people to see hope come alive, Corbitt reflects. We are very excited about the new leadership of Ami Yares, and the continued service of Janelle Junkin and Stevie French, along with an active board who is guiding the transition to the future.

Nix-Early and Corbitt will remain active members of BaB by assue, the co-founders both served as academic administrators and professors at Eastern University. Corbitt specialized in Cross-Cultural Studies and Nix-Early is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified music therapist.

Beginning December 1, 2017, Drs. Corbitt and Nix-Early will turn their responsibilities as President and CEO and COO over to the new executive director Ami Yares who will continue the work of the organization.

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