Land Mindz Incorporated was founded and established by Shelton Land on February 10, 2005, in Virginia. It received its 501 (c)(3) status in December 2005. The organization was created to strengthen communities by engaging and educating people using theatrical entertainment. Theater has been proven to promote social change and impact unserved people’s lives positively.
The organization’s first program, Project HELP, supported returning citizens of incarceration in the local Tidewater area by encouraging them to use art as a way to engage positively with society. Since then, Land Mindz has continued to grow and make process improvements, and has gained acceptance from community leaders and stakeholders as a creative way to help returning citizens of incarceration.
In 2007, Land Mindz board voted to expand the organization’s services to support individuals in the Greater Richmond region, specifically in the cities of Richmond and Petersburg, and the bordering counties of Henrico and Chesterfield. The first year of the expansion proved to be challenging and difficult for the organization. However, by the end of 2008, the organization experienced a period of explosive awareness and evolution, which was spawned by its theatrical productions that involved ex-offenders serving as the cast and crew. During this period of explosive growth, the organization also birthed the character BOSS ‘SEE’ to serve as the organization’s mascot. BOSS ‘SEE’s mission is to further the organization’s mission at community events, as well as on and off the stage.
The creation of BOSS ‘SEE’ proved to have a positive dramatic effect on the organization’s awareness. The positive response received from community members, community partners, and corporate sponsors translated into an increase of financial contributions and donations. Today, more than three-fourths of Land Mindz’s business income is generated by its theatrical initiatives and performing art (community) events involving BOSS ‘SEE’.
From 2008 to 2011, Land Mindz focused on expanding its presence along the east coast through its theatrical enterprise, and by the end of 2011, the organization had become an important part of communities in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Philadelphia. In a short three years Land Mindz extended its organizational footprint to four states and the District of Columbia.
The year 2012 was another period of significant change for Land Mindz. The unanimous decision, made by board members, to establish the organization in Georgia and serve individuals within the Central Georgia region was passed. In 2013, the first community performing art project, Macon the Stage, was held at the Douglass Theatre. During a transitional time, in which Macon was in a period of revitalization through the arts Land Mindz was able to establish itself as a valuable organization and become a part of the Macon community.
In 2015, the organization continued to expand its footprint in Georgia by partnering with the founders of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival to establish Land Mindz as the non-profit arm of the festival, operating under the name, Friends of The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival. The goal of Friends of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is to connect people, build community, engage, and enlighten the next generation through rich artistic experiences.
In 2016, Land Mindz established and extended services in San Antonio, Texas. In partnership with social entrepreneur, published author, and poet-Erika Land, the organization launched the “Financial Cues” project to help artists succeed in their goals by providing financial education and project management methods.
Land Mindz’s current mission is to build confidence, promote self-sufficiency, and create opportunities for unserved individuals through theatre and education. More than ever, the organization is focused on brokering community relationships to provide a range of opportunities through the arts to help move its mission forward.