"Beneath the wooden floor you stand on is a concrete foundation, and under that is soil," said Native American Hip-Hop artist Supaman. "In that soil is the blood and dust and bones of the native people. Under The Wilma is the blood and dust and bones of the native people."
Supaman gave a free community concert at the Wilma Theatre on June 28, perfectly blending hip-hop beats and cultural teaching for an educational and inspiring tone.
His audience, mostly younger kids and teens, enjoyed the interactivity and learning as much as they enjoyed the music. They smiled and laughed, eagerly engaging in Supaman's instructions, "Turn to your neighbor and give them three compliments!" he shouted from stage. "Now hug your other neighbor, hopefully its not you ex!"
The concert was part of the Montana Arts Integration Conference taking place at the University of Montana this week. The conference, keyed toward educators, administration, and policy makers, focuses on defining and learning about arts integration, and making connections within the arts community of Montana.
The concert, in keeping with the theme of arts education, featured the Whizpops, as an opener. The Whizpops write educational, simple pop songs to help kids learn important lessons about wildlife and the natural world. Their most recent album, Ranger Rick's Trail Mix, features songs exclusively about endangered species. The group has received the Parent's Choice Foundation's award for recommended listening.
- Nonoka Mori, Dante Filpula Ankney & Erin Sargent / Montana Kaimin
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