Engaging Youth and New Immigrants

Emerald Street Boys © 1983, courtesy of 206 Zulu

Announcing the 2013 Heritage Projects Awards

4Culture is proud to announce recipients of 2013 Heritage Projects funding, which provided $208,884 for thirty-two projects countywide. We are pleased that many funded projects addressed underrepresented aspects of cultural heritage and sought to actively engage youth in heritage programming, two primary goals of this year’s program.

Emerald Street Boys © 1983, courtesy of 206 Zulu206 Zulu was awarded $6,500 for “OurStory: Hip Hop Heritage Project” to present collections materials from the local Hip Hop scene on the organization’s website, which outlines the project’s significance: “For over three decades, Hip Hop has been rapidly evolving, not only as an arts discipline, but as an influential cultural force, especially amongst youth of historically under-represented backgrounds. By approaching Hip Hop history documentation as a heritage discipline, “OurStory” provides a foundation and platform to authentically represent neglected aspects of Hip Hop heritage, while showing how the unique historical and sociological environment of King County has shaped the culture here and its diverse representative community.”

Jack Straw Productions’ award of $10,000 for “Immigration Portraits: Denny School Community” project will produce audio stories about immigration, based on student research and interviews from the Denny International Middle School. Participating students will interview selected community members about their immigration experiences, building a collection of oral histories, while learning to produce high-quality audio programming. The audio recordings and interviews will be available online through Jack Straw for educators and students as social studies resources.

Musician and educator, Steven Cherena received a $9,150 award for his “Omo Alagba – Children of the Sacred Elders” documentary film about King County’s Afro-Latin musical heritage. The film will focus on the Omo Alagba group’s history in King County and their journey to perform at the Orisa World congress in Nigeria. Upon completion of the film, a free screening, performance and community dialogue will be offered in the Seattle area.

Omo Alagba group performing © 2012, courtesy of Steven Cherena

The Refugee Women’s Alliance was awarded $9,273 for its project, “Refugee Heritage Documentary,” which will relate the struggles and successes of four refugee women as they adjust to their surroundings while striving to preserve their cultural identity following resettlement in King County. The project seeks to challenge “widely held assumptions of immigrants as burdens on American resources, and showcase the contributions these new Americans make to the diversity and richness of the local culture and heritage.” The documentary will be produced this year and premier in Seattle next summer.

For a full list of funded projects, visit the Heritage Projects program’s webpage and click on the “Recipients” tab. Congratulations to all the awardees. We look forward to watching the progress of these outstanding projects!

Images: (top) Emerald Street Boys © 1983, courtesy of 206 Zulu; Omo Alagba group performing © 2012, courtesy of Steven Cherena