A Positive Project

Hip-Hop artist Man One give continuation school students a positive outlet

By Marla Dennis & Candida Lorenzana
Published on LatinoLA: October 14, 2002

 A Positive Project

Hispanic artist Man One inspires continuation school high school students with art workshops through HeArt Project-

Exploring the cultural roots and current elements of Hip-Hop through the medium of graffiti art is the basis for Los Angeles urban artist Man One, and his 11-week exploration art workshop for students of La Familia Continuation High School, 4909 Cesar Chavez; offered through Los Angeles' The HeArt Project.

The 10-year-old non-profit organization develops year-round workshops for high school students at L.A. Unified Continuation schools. whose art programs are non-existent, while inspiring youth with a form of productive instruction in the arts.

Man One is part of a group of professional artists chosen by the non-profit to conduct the workshops focusing on the history and elements of the multicultural youth movement Hip-Hop. Five artists are teaching five elements of Hip-Hop -- theater, rap, turntables, dance, and graffiti -- at five different continuation high schools. Man One's first of two 11-week sessions, which began late September running through late November, explores the history, cultural relevance and practice of graffiti art as an inspiration for self expression.

The sessions culminate in a group mural on canvas. The mural, along with performances from the four other schools, will be presented in public on November 22 at the Center Theater Group's Ivy Substation in Culver City. Together the presentations will relate the history of Hiphop and its elements to an audience of over 100 students and community guests.

This is the second year Man One has been involved in The HeArt Project. Last year, Man One coordinated and assisted in designing and painting a mural with high school and grade school students at The Accelerated Elementary School in Los Angeles.

"As a youth, there are no outlets, no places to go to be creative. I want to give them [youths] hope and encouragement that they can be what and who they want to be. I want to be an advocate, showing them that positivity can pull them out of negative situations. They do not have to be limited by their circumstances," says Man One. "It's a positive project working with the students. It's a perfect fit for me."

Add Man One: "It's all graffiti style art. They are all doing their own thing with their sketchbooks after they watch documentaries and videos on the history of graffiti art. At the end, they are doing a mural on canvas to present to the public."

The program, which continues through June 2003, covers 10 school sites in LAUSD located in East L.A., South Central L.A., Downtown and the San Fernando Valley. Following the end of the first session, Man One will participate in a second workshop continuing on the theme of Hiphop from January to March 2003 at Victory Branch, 14546 Hamlin Street; a continuation high school in Van Nuys, Calif.

More on Man One at http://www.manone.com

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