12th Annual Hip Hop Poetry Choir
See, Hear, And Understand Who We Are!
The 12th Annual Expressions: Talk Up, Not Down, Poetry Camp will be presenting Hip Hop Poetry Choir on July 14 at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. Hosted by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, this free event is celebrating its twelfth year.
The Hip Hop Poetry Choir is a culmination of 1 week of mentoring and training of thirty-five county youth by master poets: Neville Adams, Christopher “The Poet Man” Fields, Desire Johnson, Sekeithia Johnson, Karin Wilkinson, Sistah Joy, Janique Muckelvene, and visual artists, Pierre Dennis and Lillian Shaw; giving them the tools to be able to express themselves through poetry and spoken word.
On event night, each teen will present an original piece allowing the audience insight into a life that has to deal with the many pressures/issues associated with growing up in the 21st Century. Issues such as bullying, family dynamics, school shootings, and suicides; issues that young people are confronted with on a personal level and may or may not share with family or friends for fear of being ridiculed, embarrassed or scoffed at with the infamous phrase, “I had it worse when I was your age”. There may be no outlet for sadness, fear, anger and frustration.
The spoken word is an outlet for anyone to put their feelings or opinion about an issue into poetic motion. The program strives to teach teenagers to use poetry and spoken word as a positive tool for expression. Besides improving their public speaking ability, this program helps these young adults gain more self-confidence and self-esteem.
This project was created by Stewart Seal; the county-wide youth arts coordinator with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation with the help of the Watts Prophets; a world-renowned group of musicians and poets from Watts, Los Angeles, CA. Watts Prophets formed in 1967 with a style that combines elements of jazz music and spoken-word performance.
In a 2015 interview with the Sentinel, Organizer Stewart Seal said the program’s mission is to introduce the youth to the arts with a primary focus on poetry and Master Poet instructor, Christopher L. Fields said “I want to give the youth a voice and help them articulate emotion so they can walk on the world’s stage with their head up high and telling their truth with their own authentic voice.”
Everyone is encouraged to come out and support these talented young people as they learn in artistic ways to handle the stresses of daily life and prepare to take the baton and continue to move this county forward. For more information, Contact: 301-446-3466; TTY 301-699-2544