Alice Cooper sets up Christian at-risk youth center in Phoenix, US

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Alice Cooper, a founder of the shock rock genre, and infamous for his gory stage shows, is setting up a Christian center for at-risk youths in Phoenix.

Cooper, who has been a born again Christian for over 20 years, has already raised US$2 million for the center via his charity, the Solid Rock Foundation, founded by Cooper in 1995. "The Rock", as the center will be called, is expected to cost $7.3 million, and Cooper hopes that construction work will begin on the site, currently a grassy area near the Grand Canyon University, by November.

The land was donated by the university, which is Christian-based. The structure will cover about 29,000 square feet.

The center will aim to get teens in Phoenix off the streets. Alice explained the problem in an interview with Reuters: "Some of these kids just don't have a chance. All their environment does for them is teach them how to dodge bullets and be really good criminals."

The center will also attempt to make the youths interested in a music career as an alternative to crime, and will feature a recording studio and sound room, a concert hall, and a coffee house with a stage for performers. Cooper spoke of his confidence in the scheme's potential, saying "If you get a kid that's just as addicted to that guitar as he would be addicted to selling crack, it will change his life right then and there. I'm sure of that,".