Synopsis: Pre-teen boy band NK5 and team will work with school districts, local and state child and family agencies, and youth-oriented organizations to tour their anti-bullying message-oriented music, comic book, and curriculum to youth across the nation. Through this innovative approach, the tour seeks to spread awareness on the issue and encourage young people to have open communication, positive self-value, and respect for their peers.


Full Description



One out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015). 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36 percent reported the bullying (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson, 2010). Therefore, the actual percentage of youth being bullied is much greater that the original statistics conclude. This growing epidemic results in school adjustment issues, negative health effects, trauma, and suicide amongst our youth (Center for Disease Control, 2015). Although there is a burgeoning movement that utilizes vital social services supports in schools and afterschool programs to prevent bullying, access to an age-appropriate popular music group that provides young people with motivational music and art activities is lacking. Young people are often asked by adults to better their behavior and oftentimes are criminalized or ostracized for their behaviors when both victims and perpetrators have been abused at home and/or in the past. Seeing their peers (NK5 is aged 10 – 12) overcome adversities of their own and invite them to work hard to follow their dreams just as they have done, is a new avenue for which we hope to reach our youth affected by bullying.



Scope of Project:

NK5 Anti-Bullying Tour Partners will work with school districts, local and state children and family agencies, and youth-serving organizations in 34+ states to produce rallies and concerts. These rallies/concerts will feature a live performance by the young boy band NK5, and also include art exhibits, youth poetry, music, dance acts, vendors, and feature local and national bullying prevention-focused organizations who will offer information about their services. Additionally, NK5’s innovative new comic book, “ BELIEVE”, and accompanying curriculum, which explores bullying and positive solutions, will be available for giveaways and sales to participating school districts. These types of events will be the first of its kind, where an unknown youth act will be able to perform for thousands of people and share a focused positive message.



Projects Goals & Outcomes:

The goal is for NK5 to reach over 10 million youth with a message of positive self-value for bullying prevention in 34 states and beyond, both in person and virtually through social media outlets. By reaching a large amount of youth with this message in a short period of time, we hope to exponentially propel conversations and programming around anti-bullying that engages youth through peer-peer dialogue and through the sharing of artistic talents.



Budget Narrative: Partners project the tour to have a 2 million dollar budget, fundraised through sponsorships, grants, and direct sales. These funds will support the team’s salaries, travel expenses, lodging, food, and materials.


Key Partners


NK5 was discovered by legendary manager and hit record producer, Maurice Starr. This new preteen boy band is comprised of five very talented members who are ten to twelve years old. Since the beginning of NK5’s career, they have been involved in a very busy work schedule. This includes elementary and middle school performances, The Legends of Soul Concert Series, dance rehearsals, intense vocal training, and serious studio recordings. Their newly released album is entitled “Beautiful Soul.” The album includes the New Edition Billboard number one smash record, “Candy Girl.”  Other songs featured on the “Beautiful Soul” debut album include two singles released on the Maurice Starr Entertainment Label. One is the new anti-bullying awareness theme song “2Gether We Stand,” which has been replicated and recorded by schools, churches, and other organizations across the nation and around the world in order to propel the message. On April 28, 2015, NK5 was awarded the designation of Youth Ambassadors of Anti-Bullying Awareness by Congressman John Larson in Washington, D.C.



Maurice Starr Entertainment is the executive producer of the NK5 Anti-Bullying Awareness Tour. Maurice Starr is an American musician, songwriter, record producer and icon. Maurice Starr, awarded Billboard’s Producer of the Year, is known and respected around the world for discovering, promoting, marketing, and creating pop teen icons such as New Kids on the Block and R&B hit teen sensation, New Edition. He has written the score for major feature films such as Sister Act Two and has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business including Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson. Starr has recently cultivated new young pop group NK5 to tackle issues of bullying around the nation through inspirational music.



Joe Young Studios will support the marketing, sponsorships, funding and documentation of the NK5 Anti-Bullying Awareness Tour. Joe Young is currently the President of Maurice Starr Entertainment/Joe Young! Studios headquartered in Hartford, CT, where he oversees many projects including the visual development of new boy band NK5. Young is the primary writer of NK5’s new comic book BELIEVE. Young, a Connecticut native, is a cartoonist, filmmaker, producer, writer, and educator. He is the creator of the socially engaged Scruples comic characters and the writer and executive producer of Hartford's first major homegrown book to film project, Diamond Ruff. He is also the Founder & Executive Director of the youth arts non-profit agency The Joe, Picture This Show/Hartford Animation and Film Institute. In 1999 he received the prestigious Daily Point of Light Award from the White House for volunteering his time in bringing the arts to otherwise access-less youth. He and his work has appeared in People, Ebony, GQ and Jet Magazine, the Boston Globe, New York Times, C-Span, CNN, the Black Family Channel and other national media outlets.



Foster Buddies Network will be the fiscal agent for the NK5 Anti-bullying Awareness Tour, assisting in fundraising and promoting the tour. They are a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation raising money to help the low-income youth and foster care children join affordable activities in arts and sports. One of their programs includes the Hartford Boxing Center, which offers underprivileged youth a fighting chance through mentoring, discipline, and hard work. This work is directly working with youth to prevent bullying in all aspects of their life.