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Summary

After 5 years of running a successful transformative truly open-mic/open cipher space in Detroit starting in 2009 dedicated to uplifting women’s voices, showcasing women talent, conducting healing workshops, and expanding opportunities for women artists, we launched Detroit’s 1st Women in Hip Hop Conference + Concert inside the Allied Media Conference.

Detroit’s 1st Contemporary Interactive Women in Hip Hop Conference brought together leading figures in Hip Hop, digital media, art, dance, & performance communities to explore the historical & contemporary context, dynamics, impacts, and potential of Hip Hop music and culture on women & ways women are empowering themselves utilizing Hip Hop as a tool.

We utilized the momentum gained through organizing that event to strengthen Detroit as a connected node in both the local and global dimensions of Hip Hop culture in the extensive network of cities that celebrate women in Hip hop by continuing showcasing workshops, performances, discussions, and media addressing topics that range from: the international cross-cultural impact to the intersection of Hip Hop and digital technology, creative commerce: making a living in today’s music industry, and storytelling across multiple platforms.

Our work has expanded to include an annual four-day Women in Hip Hop retreat in Idlewild, Michigan centering participants’ healing through intimate and candid conversations about the music business with veteran music industry professionals created so that these women can share their wisdom, knowledge, and experience with artists, from the inexperienced to the professional.  This experience provides an opportunity for everyone to learn, reflect, and grow while relaxing in and enjoying nature and staying connected to one another afterwards.

What We Need:

  • In 2021 We plan to host the Women in Hip Hop Conference and Concert in Detroit again. We will need to cover free conference registrations for youth, travel, housing support, food and fees for presenters and performers, a community dinner, a tour, paint and supplies for a mural, and rental equipment for hands-on technology and art workshops, as well as stage, sound, and lighting for presentations and performances.

For Our Programming In General That We Do Throughout The Year:

  • Equipment
    – Projector – $3000
    – Projector Screen – $700
    – Professional Sound System (Portable PA System) – $15,000
    – Industry Standard Vocal Microphones (5) – $800
    – Industry Standard Instrument Microphones – $800
    – Microphone Stands – $300
    – Mirrorless Camera w Lens For Filming and Documentation – $5000
    – Zoom Microphone for Filming – $1000
    – Drum Kit $1500
    – DJ Equipment (Entire Rig) $3500
    – Computers (6) – $10,000
  • – Music Production Interfaces (4) – $5000
  • – A huge gift of $500 will help us purchase Fabrication tools such as a laser cutter and 3D printer. 
  • – A generous gift of $250 will help purchase Audio and Video Tools for our programs.
  • – A handsome gift of $100 Helps purchase Digital Tools for our programs.

The Impact

Our Women in Hip Hop Interactive Experience bring together artists, activists and academics to creatively confront dominant misogynistic narratives in music and media. We get to the root of how violence, and especially violence against women, became embedded in the cultural code of Hip Hop and we are rewrite that code to work towards the liberation of all people, drawing upon the brilliance of feminist Hip Hop activism, artistry, and scholarship.

Using Media to address the role, images, and treatment of women in Hip-Hop we critique and disrupt status quo narratives and present investigations about value systems and structures of violence and human value, the politics of aesthetics, and women of color feminisms.  Participants walk away with a greater understanding of the value of women in Hip Hop as a culture across disciplines.: Art (Graffiti/StreetArt etc.), Dance (B-Girling), Technology (DJing/Music Production/Video), Words (Emceeing/FreeStyling/Writing/Rhyming/Poetry), and Culture (the Knowledge Element of reading, observing video and listening to audio media, discussion).

Challenges

One major challenge is that a large portion of the population we currently serve are considered youth in the “low-income” bracket and unable to afford the cost of participating in many of the opportunities we are able to present to them.

Education and Employment are linked to people living below self-sufficiency. Lack of self-sufficiency is a problem in Detroit, especially among marginalized youth because there are few jobs for people without skills. Current jobs are low paying, many jobs lack flexible working hours, where there are jobs there is a long commute, people are unable to find jobs in the area, many employers have left the area, there is a huge lack of reliable public transportation, good-paying jobs with benefits, people lack computer/vocational/technical skills/education to obtain a job, many people who have been ejected from employment or who have finished high school lack formally trained or certified skills, education, and/or support for achieving goals, there is a lack of skills training, tuition money, access to programs containing computer skills, programs teaching vocational/ technical skills.

Access to education provides a framework for helping to move people from poverty into self-sufficiency. We aim to use digital media literacy and art to teach youth impacted by poverty on how to confront the various issues they face. We hope to build our overall capacity to give more opportunities to marginalized youth and young adults in Detroit to learn practical skills that can be applied to their own creative process to become makers, converting them from digital media consumers to producers, media makers, and innovators. We are developing leaders in civic engagement, social change, and community creating a sustainable partnership model; preparing youth and young adults for the technology industry of the future.

Other Ways You Can Help

  • Maybe you just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:If you can donate supplies instead of money, that is also welcome.
    • paper (large/butcher), markers (500), easels (10), pens/pencils (500), composition books (300), PA system (1), floor (for dancing), sharpies (2x 24 pack), blank art books (150), paint brushes (175), paint (acrylic/spray paint)
    • Please help us get the word out and make some noise about our campaign.

    And that’s all there is to it.

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