Words from our director Devine Carama:
“Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to teach my "Hip Hop & Leadership" class as part of the Carnegie Center's "Camp Carnegie". An interactive and alternative arts and learning summer camp where students from different backgrounds come together for days of diverse learning and fun. My class was a week long course. We learned about the 4 elements of hip hop music and the history behind it's creation. We talked about how hip hop was not only an outlet for their emotions but also a platform for what they believe in. We watched movies "42" & the "Great Debaters" to illustrate the sacrifice that generations before them made in order for them to have the opportunities for the diverse leadership opportunities available to them today.
The second half of the week consisted of helping our 8 teenage campers cultivate their own voices through poem and song. We first visited JK-47 studios where the campers were able to learn about the art of turntablism, producing hip hop records, the recording process, & more! Then back at the center, our students spent hours using their own personal experiences to craft songs and poems. Some students wrote pages worth of thoughts and emotions while some students wrote just enough. Some of our students grew up in foster care and spoke of their experiences while other students shared their love for sports and their challenges of growing up. The content that these young people were able to articulate through words was surprisingly heavy and in depth beyond their years.
Our students closed out the week by engaging in their first "open mic" in the Carnegie Center multipurpose room where they shared their poems and songs with friends, family and staff! With just a light rehearsal, these kiddos braved the microphone with some of their most personal thoughts and emotions and conveyed them to those in attendance. The perfect conclusion to an amazing week of learning about hip hop and leadership!”