A highlight from Dance and International Diplomacy with Junious Brickhouse


I really appreciate you finding some time to kick it with me. It's a little bit overdue. As i mentioned to you before we started the wanna talk to you in this platform for a long time. So thank you. I'm honored to have you here. I was glad to beerman. Thank you so much. No worries of giving a little intro to who you are. You do a bunch of stuff. We are many hat wearing vite folk when someone asks you. Hey so what do you do. How do you answer. yeah you know. usually. I don't i say let's just spend some time in jot. You know like dip. I think we are poly people in hip hop culture. You know like. I think the truth about us is that we come from a different time. Know a lot of us who are a little bit older. I'm definitely someone comes from a different time. I started doing this for different reasons. You know than than some people do today. But one thing's for sure is that you had to have a tool kit and i think right now. I'm just doing the best. I can with the tools i got you know in trying to make my contribution to to the world if not hip hop culture right got it got it. Well listen. I'm among all of those things that you do. Think doing that in a lot of different realms so let's talk about a couple of insp- specifically tell me about urban artistry man about this organization in its current incarnation. Man i tell you are. Urban artistry is a labor of love. The quicken dirty of it is that i moved to dc and two thousand and five and I been in europe for about eight years. Some ninety seven two thousand five. I was in the military for some time. So i was on nato duty there and then i took a job as a civilian but being a artist and being a dancer i was very connected to those communities. Those folks were hell economy. They kept me balanced they. They helped me. Remember who i fly am and where i come from. And i'm so grateful for that experience in in europe a the assassins crew there. And when i came back in two thousand and five it just made sense. You know My team in europe. Or like so what you do you know how. How do you pass it down. Like how do you center cultural preservation in sustainability. In how do you do that responsibly. And i saw a big hole in the dance community specifically a lot of talent. What's missing from a lot of people's Tool kit is opportunity. So when you have the background that i have and you know the people that i know it only makes sense it. It's only right. You know. I d- so urban autry was my effort to pay it forward right to do something for communities of practice young adults you know. I know a lot of people work with children and we work with children too. But there's a there's a lot of brogan adults out there. No and you know broken. People break people by not having the opportunity to self actualize you know. Do the things that you wanna do only creates more stress you know. So that's what we do. At urban arshi we invest in young people trying to do their best to to culture responsibly. I really enjoy this work. I mean it's been sixteen years and We are a group of dancers and artists run by artists. We do our own work. We do our own grant writing like we do all of our things from you. Know conflict transformation to entrepreneurship to our particular research in different forms and making sure that we have archives of not just the current street dance styles but also the forms that inspired them the things in for that so it was important to create something that was public facing that people could come in and sign up for these mentorship programs and we have public facing programming to like classes like daily. We have our own studio That's pretty much what we do in. We're just pushing out like talented in informed artists. And and that's that's the goal. Yeah in the hip hop world in the music world and the artistry world. A lot of times the dance aspect of it gets pushed to the side or Isn't the front facing aspect of hip hop culture. Obviously it's no less important than any other elements or any other facet of people's artistry are art forms of from the communities. Know who are engaged in this. That's a really powerful Mission to maintain that presence of that type of art form those people those communities in in a world. That often doesn't give that a lot of like you said opportunity. Yeah yeah i mean you have to. If you look back throughout history how westernized society treats dance right right. My itself like looked in europe in in europe like particularly in england dancers were like Gestures you know they were just for entertainment and you know if you look at things. In in the continent of africa. Embarrassment and a lot of tribes and cultures dances medicine right It's it's what spiritual people do. You know to help with healing and in growth and it's how we tell stories right and i am. I think i side

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