About Us

About US

Moves & Grooves is a non-profit organization seeking to inspire youth to create for themselves, discover, learn and grow through the arts. As Moves & Grooves celebrates over 18 years of service, it is a testament to young people that using your talents to inspire others is one of the most powerful things that you can do in life and using your gifts to serve others can be most rewarding. In 2020 and beyond, Moves & Grooves will continue to fulfill its mission to enhance the academic achievement of children through creative arts programs.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to enhance the academic achievement of children through creative arts programs.

Our Vision

Our Vision is for Moves & Grooves to serve as the premier center of performing arts and innovation for youth in the Metropolitan Nashville area.


The Moves & Grooves Center for the Arts 12,000 square foot space includes

Multi-purpose classrooms for academics, visual arts, photography, music recording, video production & graphic design. The space boasts an independent study lounge, college/career center, computer lab, cafeteria, office space, dance studios, retail store, performance auditorium and STEM Lab.

As an added safety feature, the entire 12,000 Moves & Grooves Center for the Arts duals as a storm shelter. Providing emergency safety from tornadoes, storms and natural disasters for children and families within a 1 mile radius. Help us make this vision a reality. Build a legacy with us! Coming 2023…

GET Involved

To support Moves and Grooves in our mission for arts education and health you make it involved in 3 ways….


Dr. Emerald Mitchell
Founder & Executive Director

Dr. Emerald Mitchell is the founder and Executive Director of Moves & Grooves, Inc., where she oversees strategic planning, grant writing and daily operation of five S.T.E.A.M programs for over 250 undeserved youth in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Dr. Mitchell is a trained ballet, jazz and contemporary dancer and served as a 4th grade teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools for 5 years. This is where Emerald saw the “power of arts” in action as she often integrated music and movement into each math and literacy lesson which brought excitement, focus and enagagement for even the most unruly student. Dr. Mitchell leads a team of educators by promoting the agency’s mission of arts integration in schools, communities and on Capital Hill. Dr. Mitchell serves as a member of Tennesseans For the Arts, The Art & Business Council of Middle Tennessee, The VP of Development for the Junior League of Nashville and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, where she has served on the Education and Report Card Committee for two consecutive years.

Her advocacy for youth, arts, wellness and education has been featured in printed media and television such as Today in Nashville, Urban Outlook, the Nashville Scene, Nashville Arts Magazine, The Tennessean, and the Nashville City Paper. She is the recipient of the 2019 Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award, Finalist for the Nashville Emerging Leaders Award (NELA), Pamplin Fellows Leadership Award and many others. Dr. Mitchell earned her bachelor’s degree from Fisk University, MBA from the University of Phoenix, Masters in Education from Tennessee State University and Doctorate of Education from Trevecca Nazarene University in May 2016. Whenever Emerald isn’t out and about, she enjoys kickboxing, boats, traveling, and spending time with her husband, Deitrick Mitchell, and their four amazing children – Success, Chosen, Believe and Purpose (and YES, those are their real names).

Favorite Food: Italian

Favorite Book: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

Life Motto/Quote: “Get it done!”

Favorite Sport: Dance

Favorite TV Show: Shark Tank

Fun Fact: I like horseback riding.

Why she started Moves & Grooves, Inc: Dr. Mitchell believes that Moves & Grooves is her opportunity to give to other people what was once given to her – choice.

Lori Lloyd-Belton, PHR
HR Business Director

Lori Lloyd-Belton, a native South Carolinian, was born and raised in Latta, SC (a small town about 45 minutes from Myrtle Beach). She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from Francis Marion University, an AACSB accredited business school in Florence, SC. She double majored in both Business Management and Marketing. After moving to Nashville, TN, in 1999, she trained as a court reporter and worked as a freelance court reporter for 10 years. During her career, she also worked in management and human resources at for-profit organizations in the banking industry, the legal field, and the healthcare industry. She received her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) in January 2019. She is currently pursuing her Master in Business Administration, specializing in Human Resource Management, from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Lori has two handsome and intelligent sons, Tyson and Coby, and their sister-dog, Angel. When Lori has free time outside of attending her sons’ sporting events (basketball, football, track, and baseball – yes, their sports cover the entire year), she enjoys home DIY projects, yoga, relaxing by the pool, or running. She has completed two half marathons and plans to do more.

At Moves and Grooves, Lori manages the Human Resources and Finance areas of the organization.

Favorite Food: King Crab Legs

Favorite Book: The Servant: A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership, by James C. Hunter

Life Motto/Quote: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – Matthew 7:12

Favorite Sport: Running

Favorite TV Show: Blackish

Fun Fact: As a court reporter, I could write 225 words per minute… (yes, per minute).

Why I work with Moves & Grooves, Inc: I want to do meaningful work. I feel so blessed to work with an organization that focuses on improving society through youth development. I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child and Moves and Grooves can be an integral part of the village for children in Metro Nashville.

Rachel M. Murar
Development Manager

Rachel moved to Nashville in mid-January 2020 from Cleveland, Ohio where she worked for many nonprofit organizations including Adoption Network Cleveland, Solon Center for the Arts and Hale Farm and Village. She earned her master’s degree in Arts Administration at the University of Akron. She is also a graduate of Cleveland State University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and a Bachelor of Science in Special Education.

Favorite Book: 1984 by George Orwell
Favorite Food: Pasta ​
Favorite Motto: “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will” – Chuck Palahniuk ​​
Favorite Sport:​Baseball ​
Favorite TV Show: Fleabag
Fun Fact: I have seen 144 concerts and counting! ​
Why MAG? I believe in students benefiting from arts education and enjoy working for an organization that has such a strong impact on the community of Nashville.


  • President – Debra Edwards, Realtracs Realty
  • Secretary – Allison Dowdle, Silicon Ranch Corporation
  • Treasurer – Jim Robert, Nonprofit Executive, Retired 
  • Member – Dr. Carmen April, The Foot & Ankle Healthcare Center
  • Member – Dr. Maya Bugg, TN Charter School
  • Member – Jennifer Haile, UBS
  • Member – Carla Hawkins, Ingram Industries
  • Member – Sonya Johnson, United Way of Williamson County
  • Member – Arthur Kirkby, Artist
  • Member – Nina Kumar, Ardent Health Services
  • Member – Chase Manning, Dowdell Construction
  • Member – Roberta Parker, HCA
  • Member – Arrin Richards, Neal & Harwell, PLC
  • Member – Herman Hicks, First Tenn Bank
  • Member – Adelee Traylor, Butler Snow Law Firm
  • Member – Amy Blomme, UNICEF
  • Non-Voting Member – Dr. Emerald Mitchell, Executive Director of Moves & Grooves, Inc.

Schedule A Visit

Moves and Grooves Inc is excited to welcome new friends visitors to our organization. Please contact our office so that we may schedule a tour for you to meet our amazing students, staff and experience the Moves & Grooves program for yourself.