Greetings WAPI and Katalyst Supporters,
As many of you know by now, we have our first ever CD release party, the Katalyst Kick-Off set to go tomorrow Thursday Nov 8, 2012. I’m sure you’ve seen the Facebook page, the tweets and the videos we’ve posted from our friends the Physics and the Blue Scholars.
What I want to share with you today takes more than 140 characters or a Facebook update. I want to talk to you about WHY we are doing the campaign.
When the Recession of 2009 hit, our main source of funding for Katalyst, the City of Seattle’s YouthArts program, had to cut back the amount of funding given to all arts programs in the city. It was then that we at WAPI realized that we needed to do something that gave us more financial freedom and stability instead of just relying on grants alone. Yes, we have less money than before. But we also have a sound business plan and a strategy moving forward.
During the year, Katalyst participants learn how to use the recording studio and record songs with established local artists like SPAC3MAN, Prometheus Brown, Inkubiz, Mic Flont, Sista Hailstorm and others. We turn these tracks and art from the graffiti class into our annual youth compilation. “Mixed Masses” is our first campaign, and the Katalyst Kick-Off is our first CD release party. The youth get to see everything first hand as we get their input in decisions affecting the campaign.
Our goal is to have Katalyst 100% youth-led in the near future and not just youth-driven. (Yes, we are looking to work ourselves out of our jobs.) Meanwhile, while all this art is happening, we’re also building with these youth and hooking them up with services, whether it’s drug counseling, prevention, or referring to our partners for Mental Health services or any other type of service.
The beauty of this whole thing is that I’m not asking for your money without giving back something in return. I’m just asking you to come to our show. You get to see some of the youth perform, sharing the stage with some of the town’s finest in Hip Hop. Have a good time, buy a CD or a T-shirt. For us, this is what our future looks like as a nonprofit and we’re confident in what we’re doing. Support us and you’ll have a good time in the process.
Thanks for your time and see you Thursday!
Greg Garcia, MS
WAPI Executive Director