We’re in the 401

The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for me. In early August I broke my leg which for a photographer who primarily works with kids is more than inconvenient. Fortunately, I did not require surgery and healed enough to start working again in time for the busy season.  Finally I am catching up and ready to breath into the holidays.

Right before I broke my leg, I attended my son’s capoeira graduation (see previous post) and in addition to the capoeiraistas, a local B Boy crew, Project 401, was invited to perform. As soon as the music was cued, I knew I needed to find a spot and grab my son…this was going to be special…no important.

And it was.

B Boy FaCce Maldonado, one of the founders of Project 401performing at Waterfire, Providence

B Boy FaCce Maldonado, one of the founders of Project 401performing at Waterfire, Providence

B Boy Jurrassick (Saulo Castillo) of Project 401

B Boy Jurrassick (Saulo Castillo) of Project 401

In the months since this event, I have been out to photograph Project 401 and other elements of the Providence Hip Hop scene, because the work that these artists are doing is important and inspiring. It is inspiring to me, but also to my children (especially my boys) who love to dance.

B Boy Sydsho (Oliver Arias) at the Avenue Sandwich, Downtown Providence

B Boy Sydsho (Oliver Arias) at the Avenue Sandwich, Downtown Providence

Sept 26-42

B Boy Mike Figs at the Avenue Sandwich September 2013

I love this work. I love the energy that is created by this particular group of people which is made up of Emcees, DJ’s, B Boys, B Girls, and graffiti artists…the four elements of Hip Hop coming together. Hip Hop in its incarnation in the early 70’s was not about anger and violence. It was about creating an outlet for the anger and violence. It was a movement about generating peace and respect. It was meant to unify and activate communities. Hip Hop was innovative drawing off some of the traditions of jazz, drumming, dance, poetry, developing something never experienced in the art and political world.  It gave a powerful intelligent voice to communities of people that were previously marginalized and exploited by the media as uneducated and violent.

B Bot FaCce leading a workshop at The Movement Exchange in Pawtucket

B Boy FaCce leading a workshop at The Movement Exchange in Pawtucket

Here in Providence, there is an authentic Hip Hop movement.  Project 401 is a part of that movement. This extraordinary crew mentors at risk youth exposing them to the art of BBoying (or Breakin’) and the peaceful intelligent message of Hip Hop. They travel to schools across the state and in New England, hold workshops, participate in community events, cross over and merge with other forms dance. They are always working, rehearsing, educating, and expanding their knowledge and positive presence.

B Boy FaCce co-hosting an event at AS220 in Providence

B Boy FaCce co-hosting an event at AS220 in Providence

B Boy Abel Carrera,  free style MC at AS220 Providence, RI

B Boy Abel Carrera, free style MC at AS220 Providence, RI

B Boy Sydsho, freestyle emcee at AS220 Providence, RI

B Boy Sydsho, freestyle emcee at AS220 Providence, RI

As an artist, I find their passion and energy inspiring. I have learned so much in just a few short months about Hip Hop culture and its importance in our city. As a parent, I deeply appreciate that my boys are able to be mentored by extraordinary dancers who are also extraordinary people. When they tell me they want to be B Boys when they grow up, I couldn’t be happier, because here in the 401, being a B Boy not only means being a dancer, it means being a teacher, being passionate, and living life with integrity and a peaceful heart.

B Boy FaCce and my youngest son in a workshop at The Movement Exchange

B Boy FaCce and my youngest son in a workshop at The Movement Exchange

B Girl Kiara of Project 401 helping my daughter with choreography at The Movement Exchange in Pawtucket

B Girl Kiara of Project 401 helping my daughter with choreography at The Movement Exchange in Pawtucket

The Project 401 Family, B Boy Abel, B Boy Jurrassick, B Boy FaCce, B Boy Largo, B Boy Sydsho, B Boy Mike Figs

The Project 401 Family, B Boy Abel, B Boy Jurrassick, B Boy FaCce, B Boy Largo, B Boy Sydsho, B Boy Mike Figs

For more in formation about the workshop at The Movement Exchange in Pawtucket visit the facebook event or The Movement Exchange Event Page.

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2 responses to “We’re in the 401

  1. These are spectacular! I can’t wait to see them on my monitor!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Love your perspective Cheryl and how you’ve embraced these artists so respectfully. Great shots too! When I had a chance to meet n see B-boy Jurrassick, B Boy FaCce and B Boy Sydsho, I could see how passionate they were about their craft, teaching and sharing with your boys. Awesome.

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