Big Brain 2012 Finalist: Cyphers

"When Scooby approached me about the spot a few months ago, I didn't buy it. But he won me over," he says, and laughs a little. "He's a lot bigger than me."

"I've had this idea in my head forever," Morales says. "I wanted a spot for my own kids to learn about hip-hop culture. I wanted them to have the opportunity to be a part of a community and have a safe place to hang out."

The two have loosely decorated the huge space's walls with rotating local artwork, and they have display cases full of old school boom boxes, high-top sneakers, spray paint cans, and awards given to the Furious Styles Crew. "Most of this stuff came from my house," says Magana. "But it kind of fits here."

Future plans for the spot include forming a dance crew of its own, a space for skaters, a recording studio, and a hostel-like area in the back for visiting dancers to stay. "We obviously have a ton of ideas and a lot of dreams," Magana says. "We kept asking ourselves, 'What if?' ... This place is the 'What if?'"

Meet the finalists on April 7 during our Big Brain celebration, Artopia. And check out the other Big Brain Awards finalists we've profiled so far:

Visual Art:

Lindz Lew
Andrew Hadle

Jon Ashcroft

Greg Kerr

Performing Art:
Torch Theatre

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Location Info


Cyphers: The Center of Urban Arts - CLOSED

9201 N. 29th Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

My Voice Nation Help

why do you guys call them the "big brain" awards and then show people posing like gangsters, hopping around upside-down and spray painting walls? there's nothing brainy about any of this, these are activities I associate with our less mentally capable members of society. you should change the name of these silly awards to accurately reflect the participants' endeavors.

Brandi Romero
Brandi Romero

Let me guess, your children are sitting on a sofa watching tv wasting brain cells. Put the game boy down and open your mind!! This center is doing fabulous things in our community. And it takes not only Big Brains but Big Hearts to do what is being done here!!  

Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera

it's a big brain award nominee because these are the types of establishments and ideas that work towards changing your (the miseducated) population of a major city that has a strong and defining hip-hop community. The ideas and miseducation you are portraying is the only reason hip-hop is still reflected negatively. Instead of wasting air complaining about a strong footed culture, you should be supporting the culture and learning all you can; maybe someday you'll have the opportunity to be a part of something so life-changing

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