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Hip Hop Shake Up: Changing Perceptions of Disability

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Hip hop shake up rappers

Working with the community interest company Tang Hall SMART and funded by the People's Health Trust, TCV's Local People Programme in York has helped a local group of rappers, dancers and singers who have learning disabilities produce the video 'Hip Hop Shake Up: Changing Perceptions of Disability'.

The Local People Programme supports communities in York so that they can come together and improve their local area. Part of this work is to listen to feedback from local people - and Hip Hop Shake Up is a result of this. A lot of the issues raised were in relation to activities being available for children and youths. Tang Hall SMART is a social enterprise whose aim is to tackle such issues through music activities and events.

And so the stars of the video spent a day creating their hip hop video with a theme of challenging some of the stereotypes of abilities. They were led through a workshop that involved getting used to the mic and then moving on to writing their own lyrics, creating MC names and designing artwork. The day cumulated with individual performances and filming the group video.

Feedback from the artists was very positive! An added benefit for me was that out of the blue a lady introduced herself to me when I was out and about. She was the mother of one of the rappers and her face lit up about how proud she was to see what her son had achieved and she said that she had shared the video with all her friends and family.

Stephen Collins, TCV Project Officer