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#ShiftThePower rap lights up stage at Australian National Community Foundations Forum 

At the 2017 Australian National Community Foundations Forum, held 17 - 19 October, we purposely set out to ensure that the event reflected the place the Forum was being held (Melbourne), as well as highlighted the local agency that exists there. Our intention was also to demonstrate and celebrate our shared values of inclusion and diversity by showing, rather than telling, the work of the groups that community foundations support.

We brought these ideas to life by integrating music and the arts throughout the Forum: our opening session featured a young poet/spoken word artist, Piri Altraide, who performed an evocative piece 'Itchy Feet' about belonging, culture and soul; Local Aboriginal Elder, Uncle Colin Hunter Jr of the Wurundjeri Clan of the Kulin Nation, performed a traditional Welcome to Country; and, Kevin Nugara, also known as Spitfire, gave a beatbox performance that demonstrated the inventiveness and artistic abilities of local youth.  

In an act of co-creation, the hip-hop duo Motley and Ninah Nicole from The Rhyme Theory, asked the audience to provide inputs and ideas in order to build the lyrics to a rap song. They kicked off the exercise by asking participants to respond to the question: what would you want young people to know about this Forum, and their role in shaping the future? With contributions from the crowd, within about five minutes, Motley created the following #ShiftThePower themed rap (see live performance above):

Life’s not fair cause I’m never being heard

I’m not first, not second, don’t even rank third

They tell me there’s a place and tomorrow is ours

If you want to make change then you have to #ShiftThePower

Piri Altraide, Kevin Nugara, Rhyme Theory and eight other young artists (dancers, drummers and a string quartet) who performed at the conference were all employed by Outer Urban Projects social enterprise. Outer Urban Projects is a not-for-profit performing arts company based in Melbourne. They create new forms of contemporary performances imagined from the life experiences of young artists from the outer northern suburbs - a part of the city though not at the epicentre of mainstream cultural life, possesses great artistic wealth and community energy. Outer Urban Projects is a partner of the Inner North Community Foundation

For us, it was important to open the Forum in this way because music and the arts - besides being energizing and uplifting - can help ground people in the end game of the impact of philanthropic money. By giving space for diverse voices, it helps to shift the conversation to where money lands and has real impact. 

By: Kate Buxton, Executive Officer, Australian Community Philanthropy & Ben Rodgers, Executive Officer, Inner North Community Foundation

See full coverage of the 2017 Australian National Community Foundations Forum from Alliance

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