Heritage Projects

Sample Application

PROJECT SUMMARY

Project Title

OurStory Hip-Hop Heritage Project

Short Description

OurStory Hip-Hop Heritage Project is a two-tiered documentation project that spotlights key figures, locations, and events of the Pacific Northwest’s diverse Hip-Hop community and culture. An introductory 52 card set provides an overview of notable profiles, while the expanded OurStory website delves further into each entry via oral histories and their associated media.

NARRATIVE

Project Description

Hip Hop is an international and intergenerational youth-led culture that was innovated nearly 50 years ago. Since its inception in the early-to-mid ‘70s, Hip Hop has evolved from a grassroots subculture of marginalized youth who unified with a vision of self determination and community empowerment to a highly commercialized billion dollar industry. Despite its mainstream and commercial success, many of the people and groups who were instrumental to its development are often undocumented and virtually unknown.

OurStory’s goal is to spotlight these cultural influencers while preserving their uniquely rich legacies. As many of the first generation Hip Hop pioneers have begun to pass away, we feel the urgency to document their stories, so that it’s conveyed in an accurate way that reflects their first-hand accounts.

The project is two-fold. A 52 card box set is a fun and innovative way for the community, and young people in particular, to learn about Northwest Hip Hop history and its contributors. Each card will also have a page on 206 Zulu’s OurStory website which contains expanded information, further interviews, videos, and supplemental content. The card sets will be used as tools for oral history prompts for education in various youth programs such as Beats to the Rhyme, Coolout Academy, 206 Zulu Youth Ambassadors, and through other educational partnerships with groups such as Seattle Public Schools, Creative Justice, and Creative Advantage.

Much of the groundwork for this OurStory project has been laid out. Funding of this project will help us in implementing the framework which will be done over the span of two years, and in line to be launched during 206 Zulu’s 20th Anniversary during President’s Day weekend in February of 2024.

Project Impact

206 Zulu’s mission is to provide accessible spaces while serving communities through the upliftment, preservation, and celebration of Hip Hop culture. Those impacted by this project include 1) young and aspiring artists who want to learn more about their community, 2) Hip-Hop cultural influencers and practitioners who want a platform to cement their contributions in a meaningful and objective way, 3) general public interested in Northwest Hip-Hop.

206 Zulu provides educational programming in schools, colleges, workshops, conferences, festivals and more. The OurStory card series is a simple and effective way to learn about key figures, locations, and notable events relevant to the Pacific Northwest. It is a resource that teachers can use to engage their students and implement in various lesson plans and activities. Hip Hop’s interest and capacity has increased considerably in recent years with academia, and OurStory provides an ongoing resource for research and educational studies.

In addition to the card series being used as an introductory tool, each card is correlated (via QR code) to the OurStory website, where additional first-person oral histories, biographical information, videos, music and photo galleries will be centralized and expanded on in future phases of the project.

Northwest Hip Hop has influenced the cultural landscape, not just for the region, but has made a distinctive influence nationally and internationally. Despite this, there is very little comprehensive documentation on King County and the Northwest’s history and impact. OurStory’s goal to preserve our unique culture is a one of a kind project that has created excitement and support in our community.

The OurStory card series stands to offer lasting gains to the community through general distribution, events such as the public launch party, and distribution to educators who can use them in conjunction with history curriculum.

The Ourstory card series offers an alternative to narratives that often neglect our accomplishments. This card series allows us to publicly honor women, people of color, individuals with varied abilities, and people who fall within the low-income range in the Northwest.

Events: 206 Zulu will use its existing media and event mechanisms to publicize the content of the Ourstory project through live events starting with the launch party, and continuing through all-ages performances and showcases, and educational workshops. The cards can also be shared publicly using 206 Zulu’s video web-series and audio podcast, Meeting of the Minds, social media channels, and traditional press releases.

Educational Curriculum: 206 Zulu carries out various forms of educational programming in its existing workflow and the card series will be shared and leveraged through our existing partnerships, the Beats to the Rhyme music writing and production program, the Coolout Academy, etc. Original programs could also be created in which the cards supplement history lessons or are used as flash cards to help gain a greater understanding of local culture in the Northwest.

Relevant Expertise / Experience / Accomplishments

Khazm Kogita is managing the project. He’s been active for the last 25 years as an artist, event organizer and cultural worker. He has been directly involved with documenting Hip Hop over the years with a range of projects including- directing a nationally distributed film ‘Enter the Madness’, producing the highly viewed ‘Hip Hop 101 TV’ (1999-2009), as well as contributing to various OurStory and Northwest Hip Hop exhibitions at EMP, The Vera Project, Wing Luke Museum, MOHAI, and Washington Hall. Khazm will be managing the project’s timeline, correspondence with staff, Advisory Committee and interviewees.

Matt “Open Hands” Burke is a writer, journalist, and graphic designer that has been a long time contributor to the 206 Zulu history and documentation project. Also a previous collaborator as writer and host for ‘Hip Hop 101 TV’, Matt has been a part of the mission to catalog and highlight the stories of Hip Hop’s founders for over 20 years. He currently hosts the Ourstory biography podcast, Meeting of the Minds in which he and Khazm collect conversations with some of Hip Hop’s most important pioneers from the Northwest and beyond. Matt will be contributing as lead researcher and writer.

Ben “Novocaine” Camp is a writer and documentarian with 30 years of experience in the Northwest Hip Hop Community. He will be contributing research and writing to the musician’s portion of OurStory.

Kitty Wu, curator of the OurStory museum exhibits, producer of Seattle’s Hip Hop media staple, The Coolout Network (1999-current), and has interviewed and built relations with many of the Northwest’s most notable artists and Hip Hop practitioners. Kitty will be providing administrative and launch event production support.

Georgio Brown, founder of the Coolout Network (1991-present) and director with more than 30 years of experience preserving Northwest Hip-Hop history will be the video interviews.

Robbin “Neebor” Clemente, tech manager at Washington Hall (2017-present) will be recording oral histories at Emerald Street Studios and editing video vignettes.

Chris Kaku will be contributing to the OurStory Heritage Project in the areas of branding, graphic design, layout, and marketing.

Additional support is provided from the OurStory Advisory Committee, which is a panel of esteemed artists, musicians, dancers and organizers within the Northwest Hip Hop community.

Project Implementation

Previous meetings with our 206 Zulu Education Committee and Production Committee established the components for this project with input from our membership and board of directors. Project will begin June 2022 and end February 2024.

  • June 2022 Bring together the OurStory Advisory Committee (OAC) to establish the process of inclusion and review of the current list of artists, programs and locations.
  • August 2022 Begin outreach to the community for OurStory contributions
  • September 2022 OurStory submission process is publicized via social media and 206 Zulu Fall/Winter programs
  • November 2022 OAC convenes to review submission, scores, and compiles results
  • January 2023 Interview team and OAC finalize questions for oral history interviews
  • March 2023 Begin oral history video sessions at Emerald Street Studios
  • June 2023 Begin digitizing photos collected at video sessions
  • July 2023 Begin editing interviews
  • August 2023 Marketing materials drafted
  • September 2023 Editing complete
  • September 2023 Promotion begins
  • February 2024 OurStory launch party
  • February 2024 Survey info compiled

Advancing Equity

This project was created to center marginalized histories. OurStory focuses on musicians, artists and contributors, especially people of color, who’ve made significant impacts to the cultural landscape in the region but are virtually undocumented outside of their respective mediums. We want to provide an outlet for cultural bearers to tell their own stories.

Many studies in the field of psychology support the power of creating new forms of media that include representation of people less visible in popular media sources. Dating back as far as the 1960’s, we can evidence academic works such as George Gerbner’s “Cultivation Theory,” a communications and sociological framework which posits that long-term exposure to media shapes how the consumers of media perceive the world as well as conduct themselves in life (Nabi & Riddle, 2008). Modern media often fails to reflect the realities, let alone show images of successful people in many demographics that exist in our society. For example, in a recent report from Lemish & Johnson (2019), which examined North American children’s (up to age 12) television content, certain distinct disparities in representation were found such as:

-Only 38% of characters were women or girls, while almost 51% of the US population is female (U.S. Census Bureau).
-One percent of characters had any sign of physical disability or chronic disease, while 20% of the population lives with a disability (Okoro, Hollis, Cyrus, & Griffin-Blake, 2018).
-Two percent of characters were portrayed as having lower socioeconomic status, when about 20% of children in the U.S. live below the poverty line (NCCP).

Practical evidence from community feedback 206 Zulu has collected through the course of our Ourstory project has clearly demonstrated a feeling of underrepresentation from many individuals from marginalized communities, especially BIPOC community members. Much of our work has been focused on creating platforms for recognition of the many accomplishments of members of these communities. The positive reception from these activities has reinforced our intentions of spotlighting moments of pride for people from communities less represented in popular media.

While individuals of all ages stand to be impacted by the visibility of people they identify with, 206 Zulu’s work in the educational setting has also shown an exceptional effect on motivation in young people who see images of successful people who look like them. We deem these direct experiences as evidence of an important demand for these types of projects and recognize their potential for reshaping inequitable patterns in our society, often referred to as the achievement gap.

PROJECT BUDGET

Project Expenses

  • Design – $3,000
  • People – $7,020
  • Services – $1,200
  • Supplies – $300
  • Promotion – $100
  • Document Assess – $2,300
  • In Kind Expenses – $5,100
  • TOTAL – $19,020

Project Income

  • Applicant – $3,920
  • In Kind – $5,100
  • 4Culture request – $10,000
  • TOTAL – $19,020

Project Budget Notes

We are asking 4culture to help with the staffing portion of this program, which includes people for research, interviews, collection/scanning of historic ephemera, writing, and design/layouts, as highlighted in yellow on the budget attachment.

The proposed budget requests $10,000 from 4Culture (out of a total budget of $19,020) to provide modest stipends for people ($7,200 total. Breakdown as follows: preliminary research, interview and scanning (2.5 hours per card x 52 cards @ $30/hr = $3,900), writing card and web text interview (2 hours per card x 52 cards @ $30/hr = $3,120), and card design/layout (60 hours @ $50/hr = $3,000).

206 Zulu will provide a total of $5,100 of in-kind: Recording time at Emerald Street Studios at a minimum of 52 hours ($50/hr x 52 hours = $2,600) and ballroom rental for the public benefit launch ($2,500).

206 Zulu will provide the balance of the project costs ($3,920) and will continue to look for additional funding to help offset cash expenditures: $1200 for card decks, $300 for supplies (2 External hardrives & research materials/cards/mags), $100 for promotion, $2,300 for documentation (Photographer, $200 per session x 5 sessions & Videographer $260 per session x 5 sessions)

VENUE

Venue Name

Washington Hall

FILE UPLOADS

Images

Sample Description

Draft mock-up of card

Mock-up Front

Mock-up Back