uptown vinyl supreme, hip hop summer school, outreach, pull down grate, graffiti

Teaching Self-Empowerment and Organizing Through Hip Hop in The Bronx

While it was difficult at one point to even get radio play, hip hop is now a global industry raking in billions of dollars for people all over the globe. But The Bronx, where the culture got its start, still has the poorest congressional district in America. Uptown Vinyl Supreme, a local all-vinyl party, would like to leverage and challenge all that with their Hip Hop Summer School program.

By using the pride that comes from knowing such a powerful culture came from your hometown and utilizing the confidence and skills gained by understanding hip hop’s different elements, UVS aims to improve the lives of local kids aged 12-18 and foster new safe spaces. The program would consist of a 5-6 week curriculum, beginning in July, focusing on the four elements taught by local experts.

Classes would happen three times a week with a focus on the history and modern-day application of the craft via hands-on learning, workshops, field trips and guest visits from pioneers like graffiti writer COCO 144, who will also be donating black books to the students.

The program received a $5,000 grant from the Bronx Council on the Arts, but they still require your help with funding staff, equipment, and logistical support. To help raise the additional $5,000 for all that, they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign that’s a quarter of the way funded as of this writing. Please consider giving.

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