Cyphers Holding Fundraiser Saturday to Send Graf Artists to Estria Arts Festival
Hip-hop culture haven and studio Cyphers: The Center of Urban Arts has always been an old school kind of place, from the vintage decor like boomboxes and classic Chuck Taylors adorning its digs to the throwback b-boy moves getting busted on its dance floor.
facebook.com/602CYPHERS A graf art mural at Cyphers in North Phoenix.
So it seems only natural that its organizers would eschew new-fangled fundraising methods like Kickstarter in favor of a more old school kind of crowdsourcing cash: a good ol' car wash. On Saturday, Cyphers' staff and students will bust out buckets and sponges outside of the building in North Phoenix in hopes of raising enough money to send a crew of its graf artists to a prestigious competition in the Bay Area this fall.
According to co-owner Danny "Scooby" Morales, around a dozen of Cyphers' resident artists and students, ranging from teens to 20-somethings, are hoping to travel to Oakland in late October to attend Estria Battle, a high-profile three-day graffiti and urban art festival taking place in Oakland at the end of October.
It's an esteemed invite-only street art event that was founded by renowned muralist Estria Miyashiro and has been taking place at parks in cities such as Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Honolulu annually since 2007. Typically coinciding with a few other urban culture events (like the Living Word Festival and National Poetry Slam), the Estria festival brings in graf and street artists from around the United States to compete and create works inspired by a unique theme each year and engage in both graffiti and black book battles.
"There are art programs and artists that come out from all over the world to Estria, so it's a big battle," Morales says.