Eleven teenagers passed the time with awkward jokes, glances, and greetings, waiting for class to begin. The sounds of violin and the odor of spray paint emanated from the Poet House. Poets and teachers Jason Graham a.k.a. Mosley Wotta and Terran Randolph a.k.a. Manifest Destiny discuss the theory of beats and crack jokes with the kids before class begins.
Graham and Randolph started by introducing themselves. The two know one another from Bend’s poetry slam scene, performing with and against each other years ago.
Graham, the host of both of Bend’s poetry slams and a member local hip-hop band Person People, has spent most of his life writing and performing his poetry as Mosley Wotta. A play on words that Graham explains as the fact that every one of us are all made of mostly water.
“I focus on what we have in common rather than our differences,” he explains.
Randolph has spent the last decade or so in Tempe, Arizona, being a big part of the poetry slam community there. He’s returned to Bend to be closer to his daughter and now that he’s back he has picked right up where he left off, as a prominent figure in Bend’s music scene.
Both men have a true passion for their art and feel that Young Voices Be Heard will be a great outlet for youth that share their same passion. The duo is backed by Tymon Emch, founder of CADA|CASA which is a community based education foundation. The three have been spending time this month going to schools and presenting their ideas hoping to recruit more students. They’ve gone to Summit, Mt. View, and have been asked to present at correctional school J Bar J. They also have scheduled a 600 student assembly at Summit on March 22.
Randolph and Graham are personable and natural performers, which really shows whenever they speak. The main points that the teachers impress on the students is the development of themselves as writers and performers.
“Our class is called Social Commentary Through Hip Hop and Slam Poetry, and that’s exactly what it is. We’re trying to create a family where you have a safe place to share your word with a supportive group of other kids just like you,” Randolph explains while presenting to a Summit High class last week.
Young Voices Be Heard is a supportive, creative, new way for our community’s youth to express themselves safely and artistically. The six week program is available through CADA|CASA and scholarships are available to anyone who wants to be a part of this fun and exciting class.
You may contact Zachary Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org