Hip Hop Youth Performing at the Tuxedo Community Club
Drawing workshop at Crossing Communities Studio
Young Artists in Winnipeg
Crossing Communities Art Project's Hip Hop Project consisted of three parts.
In the first part, taking place from August 2007 to November 2008, over 200 youth took part in music concerts as well as in music, art and dance workshops in Winnipeg. Crossing Communities also travelled to the remote northern community of Wasagamack where 8 youth came out every day from 9 am to 5 pm for five days to write, script, film and produce videos that described their experiences and spoke of their desire for a better education (watch one of their videos here). Throughout this phase, Crossing Communities met with community partners including Rossbrook House, NorWest Community Health, University of Winnipeg Collegiate, Ndinawe, IRCOM, Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers, and Four Arrows Regional Health Authority.
The second part from November 2008-April 2009 saw fourteen youth selected for intensive training. Many artists of different disciplines including, Wab Kinew, Dammecia Hall, Jessica MacCormack, Pat Aylesworth, Tai Pu and Cyrus Smith worked with the 14 youth mentoring them in rap, music, dance, visual art, video, and spoken word. The youth attended workshops every weeknight as well as a high school credit class in Global Issues on Saturdays. This five month portion of the project was dedicated to creating a stage performance. The result was Winnipeg Child.
After the Winnipeg Child performance in April the third portion of the Hip Hop Project began and ran from April 2009 to August 2009. The youth went through a selection process, and based on their participation over the last five months, eleven of the youth were selected to be employed over the summer as trainers in the arts at Crossing Communities. They continued to be trained in multi-media arts, conflict resolution skills, volunteerism, and other education and job related skills. The youth passed on their training to other youth in the community through performances and workshops in the arts in local community centres and schools.
Many of the youth involved in the Hip Hop Project continue to attend Crossing Communities through our Young Artists in Winnipeg program.
An evaluation of the Hip Hop Project took place throughout the project and resulted in the study:
Youth Building Community and Preventing Violence Through Hip Hop - The Evaluative Study of the participatory Hip Hop Multi-Media Youth Project
Participatory Research Team Investigators: Catherine J. Fillmore, Univeristy of Winnipeg, Edith Regier, Crossing Communities Art Project, Serena Ehrmantraut and Charlotte Fillmore-Handlon
Download the Evaluative Study Here