Full Circle Productions Receives Ford Foundation Grant

Full Circle Productions announces that it has received a grant from the Ford Foundation to support the creation of United Hip Hop Vanguard, a network of leaders and cultural workers who will organize program activities that will support and reverse the last two decades of erasure in the community National Breakin (Breakdance). The network will help in the regrowth of culture as it confronts the ongoing platform of its competitive aspects that have left historical and cultural qualities remaining invisible and obscured. The Vanguard will reintroduce the social exchange that occurs organically during jams and evolve the call and response quality of Breakin as an art form. https://www.fullcirclesouljahs.com/.

“This award will help us bring the recommendations made during our year of Vanguard meetings with concerned and passionate local leaders of the Breakin community nationwide to life,” said Full Circle Productions co-founder Rokafella, recently named “one of the most iconic BGirls in Hip Hop history”, by Latina Magazine, alongside another co-founder and “trailblaz[ing] caption “Kwikstep.

Full Circle will work with the national members of United Hip Hop Vanguard to foster dancer independence while intentionally centering black voices behind the scenes, highlighting black people and aesthetics in decision-making processes. The Vanguard will serve the national ecosystem of breakin culture workers from east to west coasts, invigorating both DJs and dancers through an exchange of testimonials connecting intergenerational practitioners who have made crucial contributions to the Hip Hop community. . These conversations will provide a platform for a mutual exchange of trajectories and ideas, an exploration of the development and sustainability of an artist-led ecosystem, an understanding of the history of the artists’ local scenes and offer approaches. to navigate business platforms while maintaining integrity and sanity protection.

This new model of workshop programming will support and invest in local education and mentoring programs managed and led by local communities. Freelance dancers will be able to offer insight into professional development so that the younger generation can learn from their experiences and build lasting careers. These workshops will provide support at every stage of planning, dancing and archiving to help nurture a successful community of dancers who reach their full potential.

“This Ford Foundation funding will allow hip-hop cultural artists like myself from my birthplace to connect with artists from across the country,” said Kwikstep, co-founder of Full Circle Productions. “Cultural connections are necessary in an era of isolation and uncertainty. These connections will help reinvigorate collective consciousness and unify artists, helping to inspire their local communities. “

To combat anti-darkness and systematic racial injustice in the Breakin community, United Hip Hop Vanguard will hold dance event planners accountable by refocusing and valuing black and brown voices in contests, competitions and other events. Similar of Breakin. This continued work at the national level will create necessary paradigm shifts that will also impact the global Breakin community. Full Circle will lead this group of US-based artists and leaders from the Breakin community with a detailed manifesto and recommendations that will help hold key sponsors, organizations, promoters and high-profile events accountable by empowering and increasing visibility. by Black and Brown. contributions, voices and cultural practices in Hip-Hop.

Through United Hip Hop Vanguard, Full Circle will encourage elite dancers and promoters to appeal to businesses and institutions that benefit BIPOC dancers involved in the National Breakin Stage to invest in the career development of community members. of dance while providing artists with a physical health resource. Full Circle will introduce frequent intergenerational dialogue that is necessary to empower dancers of all ages and enlighten dance event planners on how to actively uplift the history and roots of Breakin by making visible the contributions of blacks and black people. Browns. This intergenerational sharing of knowledge about the Afro-Diasporic history of Breakin will promote a better understanding of the factors that led to the emergence of Hip-Hop in the late 1970s in New York City. As the community begins to negotiate how it will be presented within the Olympic platform, it is essential to keep the ownership of cultural aesthetics in the trajectory of this global urban expression.

United Hip Hop Vanguard’s first 2022 reunion will take place February 25-27 in Cleveland, OH. The next meetings will be in Phoenix, AZ; Miami, Florida; Portland, OR; and Los Angeles, CA, with dates and details to follow.

This is the second Full Circle grant from the Ford Foundation. In 2006, they secured funding for a national project showcasing the participation and contribution of women in the Breakin world. Under the direction of Rokafella, who identified local BGirls (Female Breakers) in six cities across the country, Full Circle has programmed uplifting female-centric dance performances ranging from theatrical performances to dance competitions, all followed by discussions. These discussions helped spark a dialogue about the hidden issues facing women in local and national Breakin scenes, as well as other Hip Hop elements. A short film called All The Ladies Say, included in the Third World Newsreel catalog in 2011, captured segments of the tour in six cities and continued to have an impact in the community after the trips were completed. There has been an increase in the number of women involved in the Breakin scene since that time and currently there is more consensus on the need to respect women in the scene. United Hip Hop Vanguard is a project sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

About Full Circle Productions

Full Circle Productions, founded in 1996 as a non-profit organization, kicks off a new year of cutting-edge hip-hop on local and international stages, streets, cyphas and industry. The company, also known as Full Circle Souljahs, started out as a duo consisting of Kwikstep and Rokafella, who then invited retired royalty of Hip-Hop & B DJs to rekindle their fires and collect their crowns. In no time, Full Circle found a base in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop, and grew to include Beatboxers, MCs, and dancers from various ethnic backgrounds. Full Circle also offers young women an environment to practice and perform a Breaking repertoire comparable to that of their male counterparts. The members, who range from their teens to their early fifties, help create an interactive empowerment network that benefits both seniors and youth. This range creates a multi-faceted cycle of learning about hip-hop history, industry and life lessons, as well as grounding participants in the popular origins of urban culture. Full Circle, the only classic hip-hop dance company of its kind in New York City, proudly references its roots and style in street performances (aka Hittin) – this is where Kwikstep and Rokafella began their trip. During its existence, Full Circle has grown from hosting international hip-hop companies for cultural exchanges to portraying hip-hop culture in places once intangible to the ambience of the street such as the Library of Congress in Washington DC, where they are given the credit for being the first Hip-Hop group to honor the scene. Music videos, tours, commercials and films have featured members and students of Full Circle Prod, testifying to the idea that art can become your career if you are disciplined and willing to take risks. A short documentary “Visiones – Latino Culture in the US” aired on PBS highlighting the ups and downs of business, maintaining street credibility and maintaining cultural context. For more information visit fullcirclesouljahs.com.

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