It's UNITY Festival time! Children, fresh out of school, it's time for them to express themselves! Flyers posted everywhere! Only problem is you're not Facebook friends, a Twitter follower, no diary access, emails have slowed down, needs are less...but duties are not over yet. YOU'RE WANTED! Young adults need YOU!
Coming from the old school way, it takes a community to raise a child. Having access to the coolest job on the planet -- a hip hop artist -- I've had the luxury of no-holds-barred musical expression and any other elements at my disposal I could throw in to express myself. Naturally, as you grow, you see yourself in any young adult trying to find their niche in the world through the arts while developing life lessons and skills, so we get involved.
Artist development is a must, reminding them to take their time.
Hip hop has been the common denominator and still one of the best vehicles of expressing youth and street cultures reality since its beginnings. Not all positive, but an extremely detailed way of getting through scenarios not seen on TV. Everybody has a story!
When given an opportunity, everything changes. In this case through B-Boy breakdancing, music, spoken words, sound and powerful poetry Youth have empowered youth by mentoring and supporting each others' routines and work. Which is what would have happened in a negative light with no guidance...UNITY Festival has empowered youths to find their way through these challenges, and yes, adding international hip hop artiste Talib Kweli and our very own Rich Kidd to the mix is the proof and an energy party not to be missed!
My pick of the festivities would happen to be "Free Your Voice" on Sunday, July 21 in Regent Park, welcoming NYC Queen Godis and freeing my own voice through performance, after judging the competing youth poets.
Judging can be tricky so for me. The trick is to see how hard the artist gets on himself, then lighten it up while being brutally honest and supportive.
It's an incredible feeling watching youths return to a stage or gallery near you with a vengeance knowing a little more about who they are, eager to share growth.
There is a festival that teaches guides and helps the anti-social artist who loves centre stage to express themselves through the arts in a positive light -- join us!
I feel Facebook photo albums and Instagram moments coming from volunteers. Ol' school hip hop lovers, generation next, new music arts lovers all have perspective on our bright and talented artists involved, so stay tuned!