A few folks from work asked if I would be able to set up a few opportunities with the students that participate in a summer program for the office I oversee. Even though I was still on vacation, I happily obliged to provide an opportunity for the kiddies.
Outside of work, I swerk it, lol with some very good friends of mine from the hip hop, pop RnB dance scene. My good friend and former instructor Mara Bacon Chang started up Street Jamz Werkout, aka SJW. For those of you who follow my blog closely you'll remember a few of my posts on SJW, like the one here.
In a nutshell it's a dance fitness werkout for those who are wanting to tone up, build some cardio and/or get in shape with some REALLY dope music. We've done sessions for dancers, people who've always wanted to learn how to dance n finally stepped the plate, fundraisers, sports teams, gym heads, kids, flash mobbers, MMA fighters, drag queens, bboys, n the list goes on and on, lol. But ya, if you wanna know more about SJW, here's their blog: http://streetjamzwerkout.blogspot.com. Hmm, makes you wonder, jus' who created the vids, graphics n blog for the SJW crew, hahahaha.
But ya, we had a mean sesh with the kiddies. I speculate that a majority of them had a hell of a good time. During the entire workout, they cheered, cracked up and sweated to some killer yet fun workout sessions. You gotta love it, good times, good times.
After our workout sesh, the gang and I went to get some grub and then later that evening my good friend and I headed to Waikiki, for yet another opportunity I hooked up for the kiddies. I've always been a fan, supporter and advocate for artists here in the 808. For quite some time, I've been BIG TIME supporters of Prime and his organization 808Urban along with his partner in crime Estria and the foundation he created in his name. If you wanna know more about these guys, you can check 'em out here and here. I also posted a whole bunch of stuff on them here: http://haynmade.blogspot.com/search/label/808%20Urban.
Along with their unreal talent this powerhouse duo are doing great things for the community AND they've branched out beyond the 808 to share their gifts with the world. What I respect most about these two is that as muralists, graff artists, figure heads in the 808 hip hop movement in art, etc. etc. is that these two do their homework. They don't jus' slap stuff on walls, there's a story in all of the pieces they throw up with mad skill.
But ya, during this year's Pow Wow, I attended their lecture session at my place of employment, n man, did they put on one killer presentation. Along with the greats like Woebots and Bode, Prime n Estria did a killer presentation on a project they did out in Waikiki.
The project killed a birds with one stone. In Waikiki, particularly in Kuhio Mini Park there was some mad problems with drugs, homeless n graffiti goin on there. One particular community member "Melody" decided to take matters in her own hands and contacted the mayor and the police force with the intentions of going in herself and painting the area. With all of the permitting bs that takes place here in the 808, it was nearly impossible for her to do so.
John, an officer from the area got wind of Melody's efforts and made the decision to help her with her efforts. It was him that knew about Prime and his foundation and together they contacted him. When they approached Prime, with materials and labor he told Melody n Officer John that the project would need to come with a pricetag. So with support and funding from local businesses both Prime n Estria were a part of one of the most remarkable community projects here in the 808.
As I mentioned before, Prime and Estria do they homework and that's exactly what they did. The researched about the area. The story that was found was a story about Chief Kapohi. Kapohi had taken a group of owl eggs while on his journey to collect pili grass.
When the chief attempted to cook the eggs for dinner, an owl came into his presence and was asked by the bird to not cook or eat it. Following the request of the owl Kapohi did not eat it and instead built a heiau (temple) in Manoa.
Another chief, Kakuhihewa had heard about the unapproved heiau built by Kapohi and had commanded for him to be killed. When Kapohi was captured and right before him being killed in Waikiki, the sky turned black. Owls from throughout the Hawaiian Islands had flown to the area and because of the huge numbers of owls that flew to Waikiki to help spare the life of Kapohi, the sun was hidden. The owls attacked the army of of Kakuhihewa and because of this Kakuhihewa requested that Kapohi's life be spared.
Unreal stuff huh, lol. When I heard this tale being told by Estria and Prime at Pow Wow, I knew this would be an awesome opportunity for my students to hear straight from the artist himself. So I went ahead and contacted Prime and see if he'd be willing to speak to my group, and to our honor he did.
The students were in the zone when Prime, Officer John and Melody spoke about the project, the story behind the mural and how it all came together as a community collaboration. But ya, gotta put it out there, these are some hella lucky kids!