Upbeat Academy Foundation

Our Mission

The Upbeat Academy Foundation is a Louisiana 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed in 2013 providing underprivileged, at-risk children with an opportunity to learn how to produce and perform the type of music they listen to and dream of creating with a focus on electronic dance music and hip-hop. Local DJs, producers and rappers/lyricists hold daily classes in the UPBEAT studio where students have access to equipment like laptops, mixers, turntables, controllers, microphones, headphones, various instruments, and the latest music production software. Using its founders’ experience, UPBEAT also seeks to introduce its students to the business side of the music industry, offering real-life experience, case studies, and opportunities for the kids to meet their favorite musicians.

UPBEAT seeks to broaden the outreach started by similar non-profits focused on more “traditional” instruments by presenting kids with another option – an option that they might perceive as “cooler” than a violin or tuba, and still an option better than the streets. In just a short time since its inception, UPBEAT has already sparked hope and excitement in its students while motivating them to be responsible, organized students and upstanding members of their often troubled communities.



Upbeat Academy Foundation
621 Celeste Street
Suite 100
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Director: Matthew Zarba

Partnerships: Dante DiPasquale


The idea for UPBEAT came in late 2012 after production companies Winter Circle Productions and MCP Presents each endured a tragic loss as WCP’s Jeff Milne passed away at age 26 after suffering a brain aneurysm and MCP’s Patrick Edwards passed away due to complications of ulcerative colitis at the age of 31. Each young man was a staple in his respective local community’s music culture, boasting an infectious creativity and positivity that motivated dozens of friends to find their passion. In the wake of Jeff and Patrick’s passing, WCP and MCP each independently started foundations with similar missions and have since combined efforts into today’s UPBEAT. UPBEAT will serve a worthy dual purpose – immortalizing two dear friends and rejuvenating the youth of our nation through music.