“To begin, we were just little. We were temporary shelter—an oasis. Sanctuary for women and kids who were homeless. And, we had the space, and the goal was just to provide some safety and community for people who were pretty isolated. And it was pretty dark times for them. Some people assume that the problems of the inner city can be solved by getting rid of the inner city people. And we had learned before that the people weren’t the problem, the people were the solution.”
Hip-Hop Songwriting and Music Production
Art of MC’ing, 2010. Photo: Bruce Silcox
Youth ages 16-19 learn the art of music producution, performance and writing in Hope’s small music studio. Through music projects youth learn artistic elements, discipline, story-telling, taking a project through several stages to completion, cooperative learning and team building. All this work is centered in community, leadership development and creative expression/artistic development.
Building neighborhood leadership:
Youth are working through hard issues like how to appropriately use language in rap while still communicating the messages they want to. Many are taking more responsibility for the class – its running and its expansion.
Supporting diverse relationships:
Youth talk about enjoying meeting new people and the importance of their relationships with the facilitators. Youth have expressed how the guidance of the facilitators has positively impacted them and their work.
Building personal and collective power:
Youth are more confident about writing and performing their music; they benefit from constructive criticism; and feel powerful enough as a group to help expand the studio in the future.
For more information: Contact Chaka Mkali, Lead Organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (612) 435-1677.