About this project
Who are the Massive Monkees?
Massive Monkees is an unsurpassed crew of energetic b-boys/b-girls (break dancers) originating in Seattle, WA. Since coming together in 1999, Massive Monkees have performed for events and venues all over the world. They have shared the stage with artists such as Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Nas, Public Enemy, KRS-One, Missy Elliot, LL Cool J, Ludacris and 50 Cent. Recently they placed 3rd on the hit MTV show “America’s Best Dance Crew”. You might also recognize them as The “Sonics Boom Squad” performing as in-game entertainment for The Seattle Sonics.
Massive Monkees are also known for dominating the national and international break dance scene. With their original moves and innovative group routines, they have won numerous titles around the globe. In 2012, they became first American Crew to win the prestigious “R16” World Championships in Seoul, Korea.
Massive Monkees have been involved in countless creative projects and have dedicated much of their time to teaching and mentoring local youth in schools and community centers.
“Massive Monkees have shown that they’re the best in the world and they’re sharing it with their community”(Greg Nickels). In 2004, Greg Nickels, former Mayor of Seattle, declared April 26th as annual “Massive Monkees Day”. Three years later, The Seattle Arts Commission honored the group with The Mayor’s Arts Award, continuing to recognize Massive Monkees’ contribution to the arts.
**Update** April 13, 2013 Massive Monkees received a new proclamation for Massive Monkees Day! Our first was in 2004 from Mayor Greg Nickles, 9 years later we have been given a new Massive Monkees Day proclamation in recognition of our continued outreach work and involvement in the arts community...Thank you Mayor of the City of Seattle, Mike McGinn!
What is The Beacon?
The Beacon is the next phase in the Massive Monkees’ journey. This creative space, located in Seattle’s International District, is dedicated to producing, performing, and teaching art with an emphasis on the positive art forms of Hip Hop Culture.
The Beacon provides a productive, safe and fun place that interacts with the community through arts-based programs that include a free youth after-school program, dance and music classes, and community events. Through programs at The Beacon we engage people in fun activities that foster creative expression and positive change.
Our current facility is part of Storefronts Seattle, a Shunpike-run project that fills empty Seattle storefronts with art exhibits and creative enterprises. Storefronts Seattle has provided Massive Monkees with this temporary space to operate The Beacon through Spring 2013. Our goal is to exercise the option to sign into a long term lease with the property owner and continue to provide this space for our students, performers and community.
What is our project?
With residential tenants directly above our studio, sound has been one of our biggest challenges; one that will most likely inhibit the Beacon from continuing operations. In addition to this, our space is in need of various studio installations, furnishings and security upgrades.Our project is to raise funds for the required improvements needed to continue operations long-term and to complete additional studio improvements over the next year.Your funding will enable us to sign into a long term lease and to continue to provide The Beacon to our community while our phased upgrades are completed. After renovations, The Beacon will be positioned to better serve our innovative dance classes, after-school program and community partnerships.
What are we asking from you?
We are asking family, friends and supporters to contribute to our Kickstarter campaign in order for us to lock down a long-term lease and continue to offer this creative space for our students, performers and community.Please spread the word to others to KEEP THE BEACON LIT!
Your contribution will benefit Beacon students and programs by funding:
• Sound Proofing
• Various Studio Installations and Furnishings: Dressing Rooms, Mirrors, Music Systems
• Safety Installations
• Security System
• Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
• Office Build-out
• Kitchenette Installation
• Electrical Work to support upgrades
• Partition for Multiple Studio Capability
• Upgrade Studio to Dual Use, Creative Studio & Black Box Theater Performance Space: Stage Lighting & Mount, Sound System, Projector, Projection Screen, Curtains
What is the community saying about Massive Monkees and The Beacon?
“For young people, breakdancing is a positive, healthy outlet for expression that can foster community outreach, as in the case of Massive Monkees”– Tina Potterf, Seattle Times
“Dancing has helped me to have confidence,” says 18-year-old Khan Mai. “It has definitely built me up in life and brought me to many positives. I definitely wish this studio can continue to be here.” – International Examiner
“The Massive Monkees project is exactly the type of thing we’re looking for... It’s a project that interacts with the community, whose doors are open and inviting... It’s a project that engages youth in the best way, bringing a positive, productive, safe space for kids to a tough neighborhood. It’s a project that brightens the street, that enlivens it, that draws the eye, and the ear, and attention, to what would otherwise be a darkened hole on the streetscape. We love the Massive Monkees, we love what they bring to that block, and what they bring to the world of dance, and to the world of arts education. - Matthew Richter, Program Manager of Storefronts – Northwest Asian Weekly
“Not too long ago, the ground-level space was just one of many vacant storefronts in the ID and Pioneer Square. Now dubbed The Beacon, the dance studio pulses with youthful energy…” Gwendolyn Elliott, Seattle Weekly
“Massive Monkees have proven that… they’re the best in the world and they’re sharing it with their community” – Greg Nickels, Mayor of Seattle 2002-2009
Risks and challenges
With residential tenants directly above The Beacon, sound has been our biggest challenge; one that can inhibit the Beacon from continuing operations. However, we have a two phase sound proofing plan in place. The first phase is to insulate the space between our ceiling and the tenants above. Contractors have estimated that this phase will eliminate 70 - 80% of all sound traveling from our unit to the neighbors above. If phase one is not sufficient, phase two will be to mount a layer of sound proofing foam on our ceiling to eliminate any existing noise travel. We will continually update our supporters on the status of overcoming this challenge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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