A2: Closing the Gap for Urban Artists

Original description: All over Europe urban arts are becoming more and more visible. And not just in capital cities. The time has come to make sure the ambitions and support needs of urban artists is more adequately matched with the possibilities that established institutions for art teaching education, theatres and concert halls have to offer. In this dialogue a number of experience experts, including Jonzi D, will enter in conversation with the audience about their personal development as professionals and about the possibilities and impossibilities for urban art talents to develop artistically. Do urban artists have full access to the support options for the arts? What opportunities can international cooperation and exchange offer? This session is particularly interesting for policy makers and professionals in education, participation and urban arts.

A few observations or lessons learned:

  • For one of the speakers  the instutionalization of dance training versus his peer group in hip hop meant: no funding, no common language, while he does see communalities in dancing and doing and sees how both forms could fit together. And was that not the intention?
  • Everywhere in Europe there are people who know what hip hop is and who can program it: you can not keep saying that they are not there, or that they come from other worlds.
  • We have to go beyond the idea that it is difficult to work with urban artists: research your unconscious stereotyped thoughts; This is Europe-wide.
  • There is a need for a bridge between communities: there are different cultural values in both worlds that do not know each other, so bridge builders are needed.
  • There is no system world in urban or hip hop that guides you in your professional development, you learn from each other. Only later when you have to earn money do you notice that this support is not there.
  • In urban arts, the active participation in the group is self-evident: you are invited to bring in and add your knowledge and expertise.
  • It seems as if the non-establishment has to prove itself again and again.