In June 2020 Damion Cooper was given a vision for a new ministry to reach youth in Kansas City. God put on his heart to leave the ninety-nine and go after the one through performing arts shows, put on by his organization, Collektive Company.
Today’s world is saturated with influencers. From celebrities to social media, young people are being more influenced by outside sources than ever before. Damion Cooper, the CEO and founder of Collektive Company, knows something about influence.
Damion had a promising future in soccer when he was a teenager. His passion for soccer consumed his young adult life, and he had little interest in anything else. His brother was attending church and tried to persuade him to attend with him, but it was hard to convince Damion to give up time he could be playing soccer. Finally, with the promise of good food being at the service, Damion went on a Wednesday night. He was surprised to be greeted by his 7th grade teacher.
“[The teacher] took me under his wing, because I didn’t have a father figure at home,” Damion told Faith Horizons. Through the consistent influence of his teacher, and attending church, Damion became a Christian and was baptized.
Influenced to Influencer
Damion had hopes of pursuing soccer, but due to multiple injuries he had to give it up. Through this change in plans, he felt God opening him to other ways he could live a life of influence, even if it wasn’t through soccer.
With a heart for the next generation, Damion found ways to be involved in his local community. He started volunteering at a Kansas City High School as a mentor and built relationships with the administration there. He decided throw a party for the students to encourage community and positive influence. Over 120 students showed up! Damion continued to plan more events at the school and became the chaplain for multiple sports teams.
During the events Damion planned, he began using another skill from his childhood, dance. He had grown up surrounded by music and is a skilled dancer. He started thinking about how he could better use dance as a means of outreach.
“I always felt like I was supposed to partner with a DJ and do something unique with the gospel,” Damion told Faith Horizons. Seeing the success of events he was hosting at the high school, the idea of Collektive Company was born.
Damion put together a team of people and got to work. With a DJ, beatboxer, spoken word performer, and himself, Collektive Company was formed. The organization is available for conferences, special events, and tours to reach and interact with youth.
Collektive Company uses performing arts to accomplish their three goals: influence the next generation, empower community leaders, and unite local communities. The group puts on energizing events that combine performance with authentic conversation. They’ve seen incredible fruit come from their efforts, with 300 kids deciding to follow Christ as result of attending a show.
“You step on the stage and give a 25–40-minute show. And it makes the kid say, ‘I’m all in’… You’ve made their hearts soften,” Damion shared. The Company is excited to plan more events, tours, and partnerships to continue their important work.
To donate or schedule an event with Collektive Company check out their website