Empowering Young People

Through Music and Mentorship

Guitars Over Guns offers students from our most vulnerable communities a powerful combination of music education and mentorship with professional musicians to help them overcome hardship, find their voice and reach their potential as tomorrow’s leaders.

Our Mission

We’re on a mission to empower young people through music and mentorship. We are here to shift how young people think about the world and their place in it. By sharing skills and experience, rooted in our common passion for music, we inspire our students to see a future that’s filled with potential – and help them be excited and accountable.

We cultivate an enriching community bound by the arts. United by community-based performances. Powered by high-quality instruction. Inspired by meaningful connections between professional musicians and our community’s youth. Because the world changes when people find their voices – and have the opportunity to be heard.

Our Impact

A safe, supported world filled with music and opportunity, where all young people can discover and reach their full potential.

of students said that their mentor expects them to try new things and do their best

of students would recommend Guitars Over Guns to a friend

of students said that their mentor pays attention to their lives and can be counted on for help

of students demonstrated measurable growth in multiple core Positive Youth Development capacities

of students felt encouraged by their mentors to work through difficult problems


Band Together
Mark your calendars for a joyous celebration as we commemorate a decade of Guitars Over Guns in Chicago
September 14, 2024
Choose Your Sound: Forever Young 80's Gala
Save the date! We are thrilled to announce the return of Choose Your Sound -- Forever Young 80's Gala
October 19, 2024

Our Success Stories

Our Success Stories

Our Communities


We launched our flagship music mentoring program with only 15 students at North Miami Middle School in 2008. From Homestead to Little Havana to Miami Gardens and beyond, we now serve hundreds of students annually through no-cost after-school, community-based and summer programs.


In 2014, we partnered with UCAN to bring the first GOGO Chicago program to life. Our Chicago region now encompasses the South, West, and Southwest sides of the city, with a variety of in-school, after-school, community-based, and summer programs offered at no cost to youth.

Los Angeles

Following a virtual Covid-year pilot, our first in-person program in Los Angeles launched in January 2022. Our inaugural team of LA-based mentors brought guitar, bass, piano, and songwriting instruction to a cohort of two dozen students at USC Hybrid High in Historic South Central.

New York City

In January 2024, we launched our first programs in New York. Located in the heart of Harlem, we serve 5th-grade students at P.S. 197 John B. Russwurm and 6th-grade students at Urban Assembly Academy for Future Leaders. The program offerings include music production, singing/songwriting, guitar, and Hip-Hop/rap.

Our Supporters

Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Guitars Over Guns is funded in part by The Children’s Trust. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

Made possible with the support of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Our Partners $25,000+