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Mother Nature to host Open Scene workshop and showcase

Integral C-U hip-hop group Mother Nature will be hosting a concert and workshop at Urbana’s Independent Media Center. The event will focus on the movement of knowledge through hip-hop music, and how it impacts each person differently. The concert is part of UCIMC’s Open Scene project, and will also include a showcase featuring Open Scene’s leaders and artists. Open scene is UCIMC’s youth media arts project, funded through a grant from the National Endowment of Arts.

Ahead of the Mother Nature workshop, on Sunday UCIMC will feature a showcase of youth hip-hop, followed by a community discussion. View the press release below for more information.


The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) announces a concert with Mother Nature, CU’s premier female hip-hop duo, and showcase of youth artists from Open Scene including Lateef Bridgewater and Jamie Gatson. It will be Friday, March 24th, 6-8 p.m. at UCIMC, 202 S. Broadway Ave. in the historic Urbana post office. Mother Nature will host a series of workshops the weekend of March 24-26, 2017. Our new youth media arts project, Open Scene, is funded thanks to a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Mother Nature’s Open Scene workshop focuses on the movement of knowledge through the 4 elements of Hip-Hop. Artists will explore their own knowledge and infuse it into a meaningful project to be shared with another person or group of people. The project can be a song, a verse or a poem, a collage or painting, a dance, an instrumental, a story – whatever they feel inclined to create. Open scene youth leaders and stakeholders will learn how to carve ideas from their own experiences, purpose their creativity so that it contributes to people they love in their community and HipHop culture, and how to navigate the paths that they imagine for their future and creative leadership potential at the IMC and the larger community.

Public Events:

Friday, March 24th 6-8 p.m.:  Hip-Hop concert/showcase featuring Open Scene leaders/artists.

Sunday, March 12th 2-4 p.m.: Showcase of youth hip-hop and community discussion.

There is a final upcoming workshop with Hill L. Waters (April 14-16), a Black feminist love praxis project that is a collaboration between Durell M. Callier, Lisa Fay, and Dominique C. Hill. They will lead a workshop for developing short theater pieces.

Twelve community stakeholders and twelve youth take part in the series of workshops and discussions. Together, youth and stakeholders represent Open Scene Leaders, who develop guiding questions regarding livability and placemaking in downtown Urbana, and participate in four weekend intensives with the chosen artists. Using techniques learned from workshop intensives, they will help facilitate arts-based civic dialogue workshops for the community and publicly showcase creative work and research.

For more information, contact Blair Ebony Smith at (217) 344-8820 or

To join in the conversation, use #OpenSceneUrbana on social media. More information about Open Scene can be found at and on our Facebook page Open Scene Urbana.

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