The Wheat Beats program was developed for young people aged 11-15 in the Wheatbelt and incorporated Australian hip-hop, traditional Aboriginal and contemporary dance, photography, music and digital media.
The project aimed to give young people in Kellerberrin, Quairading, Brookton and Narrogin a way to express their feelings about community life, culture and growing up in the Wheatbelt.
CAN ran a series of Wheat Beats workshops in each town, with a number of leading artists teaching young people new skills in song writing, DJing and scratching as well as dance and acting. The project resulted in production of the students’ own Australian hip-hop songs and music videos.
Wheat Beats workshops ran in 2010 and 2011 and were facilitated by Scott Griffiths (AKA Optamus) from acclaimed local hip-hop act Downsyde, WA Young Filmmaker of the year Mat de Koning, Aboriginal dancer and musician Olman Walley, hip-hop choreographer Nelle Hokianga and acting coach Eve Kermack, all well-known and successful artists in their fields.
The Wheat Beats project features in the Voices of the Wheatbelt: Wheat Beats publication, which shares the history of the project, the lyrics of the songs, the profile of the artists, and a DVD of the four music video clips and original songs. The publication also has a ‘behind the scenes’ documentary of the project with commentary from teachers, parents and students.
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