October 28, 2011

AGYA To Collaborate with Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy (JUiCE) on International Artist Exchange

AGYA is proud to announce that we are partnering with Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy (JUiCE) on an international hip-hop artist exchange project that will bring Los Angeles-based MC and Hellfyre Club recording artist, Open Mike Eagle and Los Angeles-based beatmaker and Brainfeeder artist, Ras G, to work with Ugandan rapper Mon MC, youth artists, and other local musicians in Uganda for three weeks during summer 2012.

J.U.i.C.E. is a Los Angeles-based a non-profit hip-hop organization that encourages the creative expression and self-empowerment of all people through skill-building in the music, visual art, and dance of the hip-hop culture.

The project idea was born in 2010 when AGYA Executive Director, Divinity Matovu connected with JUiCE Co-Executive Director Daniel Rizik-Baer, who provided advice and guidance during the curriculum planning phase of "Recording Our Dreams," an AGYA project that is currently training youth on music production and recording with a focus on hip-hop. Learn more about "Recording Our Dreams" here.

Through this collaboration, AGYA and JUiCE aim to:
  1. To exchange knowledge about the musical traditions of hip-hop, both its roots in African music and the unique styles of rapping and production born in Los Angeles, paying particular attention to similarities and differences in rhythm, melody, harmony, instrumentation and content.
  2. To support the growth and development of hip-hop music in Uganda through artist-led workshops for emerging hip-hop artists in Uganda, which will cover hip-hop music production and rapping.
  3. To collaboratively produce works of art, culminating in the production of a 4-5 track CD; and
  4. To provide public benefit and experience of the arts through a live performance for the general public at the Ugandan National Theater in Kampala, Uganda, through a low-cost exhibition and panel discussion for Los Angeles residents upon return to Los Angeles, and through free online distribution of the culminating musical works.

The total project cost is just under $18,000 and covers travel, room and board, equipment, stipends, and other items necessary for the trip. AGYA and JUiCE have received partial funding of $8,000 from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Exchange International (CEI) Fellowship Program. While we are grateful to be among the recipients of the prestigious CEI fellowship grant, we still need to raise an additional $10,000 USD in order to make the project a success. We are using the online fundraising platform, StayClassy to raise part of the funds online.

Our goal is to raise $5,000 via StayClassy by January 15, 2012. We encourage supporters to make a donation online or create your very own personal fundraising page with a minimum goal of $250. Support us here: http://www.stayclassy.org/events/detail?eid=8079

As the project launch approaches, we will be posting additional updates and details on the AGYA Blog, Facebook, and Twitter! Stay tuned!