My name is Martin Jones, and I’m currently the Treasurer of Hip Hop Heritage. My main claim to fame is that I was an entertainment agent in the 1980s, and actor/musician/celeb Goldie’s manager and agent from 1984-90.
Tell us about your organisation and what it does for your local community.
We are an unincorporated charitable association. Our mission is to document and promote the work of Hip Hop’s early pioneers in the UK.
We ran a successful Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Our Heritage’ programme in 2014-15, called ‘The Early Years of UK Hip Hop Archive Project’, based on my photo collection from the 1980s.
What is your organisation’s proudest achievement?
We created and catalogued a 1,500 image record called the ‘Zulu Dawn Archive’, which is based at Dudley Archives and can be viewed at blackcountryhistory.org
In our early days we staged two exhibitions at The Public arts centre in West Bromwich.
Our dancers also hold the Guinness World Record for the most performers motion-captured in real time (19), surpassing the previous record set during filming for Lord of the Rings (15).
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in your local community?
It took us a while to find the right people for our committee. It’s not easy, and takes time to find people who are genuinely committed to your goals and who are in it for the right reasons – however now we have an excellent committee.
What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
We were delighted with the help and advice we received from the SCVO Small Groups Advisor when we were setting up the organisation.
What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans include an exhibition called ‘Afterlife’, which we hope to stage at Wolverhampton Arena Theatre’s Artsfest. The show uses the motion capture files of top B Boy breakdancers of the 1980s that we recorded in 2015, and turns them into animated avatars, which will then form part of our archive.
We will also document the technical design process of how the dance figures are modelled and animated.
They will become a permanent, detailed record of the dancers’ trademark moves from the early era of B Boying, recorded while the dancers were still able to perform their moves.
How can SCVO help support your organisation in the future?
We have found the SCVO Meet the Funders events very useful, to identify potential funding sources and to meet others who are in the same position and encountering the same issues as us.