The event started with getting things set up. Dr. Heather Hamilton (Department of Theater and Dance at Minnesota State University Mankato, Minnesota) and her sweet daughter were setting up craft activities for children of all ages.
Both of us were so happy that the rain had not caused any last minute changes for the day. However, I don't believe either one of us was ready to take on the heat that snuck up on us by the time the event was underway.
Kyle Nordland (MN-HHC Member) was ready to set up for sound checks and get situated for the afternoon of Edu-tainment. Dr. Heather Von Bank (Department Chair-Associate Professor of Family Consumer Science and Child Development Family Studies College of Allied Health and Nursing for Minnesota State University Mankato, Minnesota) also joined the fun by helping get activities ready for kids.
As we continued to get ready for the event, Kendrick Daum (instagram.com/lookatthisproject) showed up and started to set up for what he was doing. Live aerosol art was his contribution for the all ages event. Eventually all the other artists showed up. We had performers from Mankato as well as various parts of the Twin Cities.
Our youngest performer was 11 year old Octavian (@the.dance.dream). He was very excited to perform in front of a lot of his family. He sure had some great moves despite the sun beating down on him.
With a friendly visit from Bukata Hayes (Executive Director of Greater Mankato Diversity Council and potentially our next mayor) along with Ayan Muse (Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at Greater Mankato Diversity Council) this event felt like it was actually bringing together great people who love this community.
The lineup for the day was as follows:
DJ A.O. (@nativeson651)
Kode Red (@kode_red_music)
Chase Vibe (@ChaseVibe)
Joe Charley (@theejoecharley)
Lieutenant Sunni (@thy.ruler)
Zaire Huruku (@zairehuruku)
Mpls Drew (@werd_jd)
It was so hot out with no shade that DJ A.O. was concerned about his equipment being damaged. In fact, shortly after he voiced his concern his equipment stopped working for a moment. Thankfully we had the supportive staff at Midtown Tavern to help us out.
After reaching out to owner, Nick Proehl regarding our situation he was generous to offer a patio umbrella to help shade the necessary equipment. Along with giving us their special event menu, Nick and his staff were more than understanding in helping the coalition with this event. I had the opportunity to thank him and his response says it best, “Glad we could help! It really is all about collaboration - or at least it should be.”
That my friends, is what it is about. Community in its beautiful and rawest form. Hip Hop in its purest element. We thank you again to all of those who were able to withstand the heat and we look forward to the next event in August.