The Sapling's Daily Diary

The Harlem Hub Summer Arts Academy (2018)

Enjoy Valerie Freedom’s daily diary from Thrive Collective’s first ever Summer Arts Academy at the Harlem Hub.

Turn Up the Value for Thanksgiving

Support Arts and Music at the Harlem Hub One week from today, “Turn Up the Value” officially releases on #GivingTuesday. Please consider giving a year-end investment in arts and music education at the Harlem Hub. Every dollar given for this campaign supports ongoing opportunities for Harlem Hub students to write, design, choreograph, and produce beautiful…

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It’s a Wrap

On July 19th, twenty Harlem Hub students and five teaching artists began an ambitious journey at our inaugural Summer Arts Academy. They agreed: Our music students would write and record an original song. Our media students would produce the music video for the song. Our dance students would develop and perform choreography for the video. And our murals…

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An Ending as a New Beginning, Day 12

Post-Production and Promotion, Day 12 Today is the last day of our Summer Arts Academy and our last day we’ll spend as a group, coming together to work on this music video. With production of the “Turn up the Value” song completed, this morning we turned our attention to distribution. How could we help the…

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Crunchtime, Day 11

Media, Music, Murals, and Dance, Day 11 Today, we took filming outside. We spent the morning outside of the Harlem Hub filming our hardworking mural students painting and detailing their artwork. The students also reenacted placing the mural on the side of the building piece by piece. Christine and Randy helped direct the production, guiding…

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Showtime: Stars Align, Day 10

Media — Lights, Cameras, Action, Day 10 We had a lot on our plate today. The full crew of instructors, Christine, Flexx, Uhey, and Randy, were all on hand for the filming of the music video today, along with new friends and amazing collaborators Mariel and Andrew from Friendly Films (and A&E Network) who helped with…

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Picture Perfect, Day 9

Murals and Dance — Video Prep Day, Day 9 As the director of the music video we are filming tomorrow, Christine worked with our Murals and Dance instructors today to make sure we’re ready for our closeups under the bright lights.  To begin, our younger students and siblings sketched, and later painted signs for the…

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Raise Your Voice, Day 8

Music and Media — Field Trip to the Recording Studio, Day 8 Today our instructors Randy and Christine took our talented music and media students to the Produkt Recording Studios in the Bronx to finish recording the “Turn Up The Value” song. Our schedule was a little backwards for the day, with an early lunch…

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turn up the value music recording
Turn up the Value – Song Lyrics

Enjoy the lyrics for the “Turn Up the Value” song written by our Harlem Hub students during the 2018 Summer Arts Academy. For daily updates from our Summer Arts Academy, go here. Concept & Elements “Turn up the Value’s” concept explores achieving social, economic, criminal and health justice by recognizing ourselves and others as valuable…

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interns painting
Colorful Choreography, Day 7

Dance and Murals, Day 7 Today was more of an organizing day where we reviewed our progress and planned what else needs to be completed next week to achieve our goals of producing an original song, music video, choreography, and a mural. Flex and his skillful dancers started our session at noon with stretches to…

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I’m Invaluable Too, Day 6

Media and Music (and Murals, oh my!), Day 6 Another start to a wonderful day! Marissa and Uhey began this morning touching up the “For One and All” mural and painting the backdrop. They blended colors together to create a fade effect and applied washes to coat the mural and protect it from dust. Christine…

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Lights, Camera, Action, Day 5

Murals and Dance, Day 5 The kids showed up today and found a film crew from A&E Networks already set up to capture their every inspired moment. Yep, A&E was producing an “Everyday Heroes” feature on Harlem Hub founder Maurice Winley, and decided to film our Arts Academy to show the world the great impacts…

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interns at work
Draw up a Storyboard, Day 4

Media and Music, Day 4 Today we got into the thick of things with Media instructor Ms. Christine asking us what our favorite shows are. We talked about how great shows tell great stories, and how directors and producers imagine the stories on storyboards before filming begins. Similarly, our goal for the day was to…

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blank canvas
Express Yourself, Day 3

Murals and Dance, Day 3 This morning started with dance class, and Flexx again got our blood pumping. He reiterated his three rules to show respect for all, and changed the pace by asking us about our lives and listening to our stories. He dropped some facts about his own as well, especially how he was…

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dance instructor thinking
Jedi Mind Tricks, Day 2

Media and Dance, Day 2 This morning, Christine guided our media class and we brainstormed more ideas for the music video. She started with general icebreaker questions so that everyone could connect to each other. We watched different music videos for inspiration, including one she produced for Thrive Collective of their “Campeones” mural in Tijuana…

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paint rollers
Turn Up the Value, Day 1

Media and Murals, Day 1 Today is our very first day at the Harlem Hub Summer Arts Academy, and I’m very, very excited! We started off in the media classroom to hear a sneak preview of “Turn Up the Value,” the song we’ll finish writing over the next week. Then we began imagining an upcoming…

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sapling mascot happy
Introducing Valerie Freedom & The Sapling

I’m Valerie Freedom, author of The Sapling. My story begins in the Lower East Side as a teeny, tiny seed blowing on the wind and landing comfortably in a schoolyard at Franklin Delano Roosevelt School. Over time, children at the school painted Dream Walls, I Am Loisaida, and Dream Walls 2.0, expressing their creativity in the…

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About The Sapling

My name is Valerie Freedom, and my story begins in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Read more.

"Bring Art Back" Harlem hub x Thrive Collective

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