Author: Darrin Korte, Director of Out-of-School Time Programs, The Hip Hop Transformation Program Director
Last year I was lucky enough to be awarded a grant to run the program of my dreams at the Cambridge Community Center. It was a program that would combine my three biggest passions – social justice, youth work, and hip hop culture. The program was designed to teach teens in the Cambridge area about the history of hip hop culture and the role that it plays in their lives. Then we would teach them the art of hip hop music – how to write, record, and perform their own original music.
Through this process we would develop conscious consumers who better understood the messages in the music they were listening to. We would develop teens that were comfortable exploring their talents and showcasing them in front of their community. We would combat the negative images often associated with hip hop music with the positive spirit that hip hop grew from. We would demystify the art of lyric writing and make this form of expression accessible to all of the program participants. We would connect them to positive role models in the local hip hop community. Through knowledge and experience we would inspire a transformation in the teens. The Hip Hop Transformation was born.
After a very successful summer that saw the 10 program participants complete a 9-song album in just 6 short weeks, the teens put on their final performance on August 27th in Cambridge. The turnout was great, the performance was spot-on, and the energy was electric. The participants performed 4 songs from their new album in front of a crowd that included Mayor Henrietta Davis. Following the performance they were asked to perform at future events, most notably in front of City Hall at request of the Mayor.
Though the program officially ended in August 2013, six teens have stayed involved through the school year. This core group has been lucky enough to be able to book more and more appearances. Our next performance will take place this Thursday, 2/27 at 6:30 at the Cambridge Public Library. It will be an opportunity for the youth to showcase their skills to a crowd that has not had the chance to see them yet. We consider this performance the jump-off to the 2014 THHT season. Our motto goes, “THHT, we’re a fam!” These kids continue to do amazing things, and after watching them perform there will be no doubt about how united and powerful this group truly is.
Come see for yourself, Thursday February 27 at 6:30 pm, in the main auditorium of the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway in Cambridge.
Listed to music here:
The Hip Hop Transformation photos and info:
THHT of Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHipHopTransformation
Library page: http://www.cambridgema.gov/cpl/calendarofevents/view.aspx?guid=%7b46EAD220-B861-4C01-BDA5-96D6C63393EF%7d&start=20140227T183000&end=20140227T193000
Questions about the program? Contact Darrin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 547-6811 x19