Some of you know this but I suspect most of you don’t. My homies, Trev, Texas, Melo-X & Jeffro all comprise the members of a online video boutique called THE NEW POP. Recently, Trev and I were asked to shoot a promotional video for the New Design High School (NDHS) to help them raise money to offset severe budget cuts that threaten to wipe them out of existence. NDHS is an art school for underprivileged kids in the heart of NYC’s Lower East Side (LES) area. They recently discovered the most incredible roof complete with basketball hoops and all. NDHS used to be a prison back in the day. Way back in the day. But now, it is home to several schools all occupying their own floor and in some cases more then one school on one floor. The roof is home of a really dope graff project called “Rooftop Legends”. An idea thought up by graff artist Jesse Pais, the Dean at NDHS.
Yes, the teachers are themselves artists and also well known in art circles all around the city and in some cases the country. URB recently highlighted an art collective named “Trust Your Struggle” in their “Next 100″ issue and they have members teaching at NDHS.
Above: Erin, Member of Trust Your Struggle
So, this is real shit, with real heads doing righteous things. Something we should all be doing more of. Giving back to the community is a good thing. Ask yourself when the last time you helped someone was. I know I need to be doing it more myself.
NDHS teaches BBoying, Turntableism (not sure the correct spelling), Beat Production, Graff and so on. These are all things that growing up I had to learn from friends, but today you can be taught by some of the best and that’s dope. Many of the kids we interviewed told us that going to school at NDHS keeps them out of trouble and that the staff are down to Earth and fair. These kids are living mostly below the poverty level and good things like this are hard to find gems.
If you are interested in throwing an event on the roof which will help keep these great programs going, or if you are a graff artist interested in contributing to the Rooftop Legends series, please contact me: TONE @ PHOTOBY TONE.COM