Exploring Arts-based Educational Opportunities through Hip Hop Culture

A Year of Hip Hop (AYoHH) is an inquiry project funded by Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL) and the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library Foundation. It is an exploration of how we learn as a community. The project was designed to explore how educational opportunities could be improved in Evansville’s Promise Zone through hip hop culture and its associated arts. The project seeks to amplify often excluded or marginalized voices, enhance a community’s ability to affect change, and improve creative opportunities within and around the Promise Zone.

To create meaningful change, there needs to be a better understanding of the opportunities, challenges, and aspirations of the individuals, the residents, and the youth who live and work in the target area. Hip hop culture was chosen as a way to encourage participation and highlight the assets within the community. Hip hop culture is transformational; it is about storytelling, belonging, ingenuity, and collaboration. We believe that empowering individuals and creating opportunities that include them in the vision, design, and creation is essential. We also believe that a strong creative ecosystem can create opportunities, develop key foundational skills, and build economy.

Projects and programs under the AYoHH initiative are designed to bring creatives, change agents, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, photographers, cultural and arts-based organizations, and youth together as community to participate in creating art that transforms. We welcome you to help us strengthen our creative and cultural environment.

Charles Sutton

Charles is a librarian, thinker-tinker, and is interested in social change. He believes a better world is possible and we can make it.
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