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for Ages 12-18

Do you have a passion for telling stories? Now’s your chance to be in our virtual September showcase, which could include sharing your video story on our YouTube channel. We are looking for artistic works with narratives that break through the perceived boundaries of what is possible within hip hop culture. We want new characters, new archetypes, new worlds, and new possibilities imagined.

Submit an original video of less than 10 gigabytes between August 17-September 10 to compete in one of these categories:

  • Rap / verse
  • Graffiti street art / visual art
  • Mixing / sampling / beat making
  • Music / dance

You must have your parent/guardian’s permission to submit to the challenge. Your video cannot include any identifying information, such as faces, addresses or names.

We will judge your video on the following criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Social relevance
  • Positivity
  • Quality

Good luck, storytellers!

Submit your video

Read the complete set of rules here.



Special Guest Judge
Malik Work

Malik Work is a NYC-based, born, and bred actor-writer-emcee-teaching artist. He’s written and performed a hip hop musical called Verses @ Work, a one-man show that garnered him a nomination for Best Solo Performance at the 2017 AUDELCO Awards. The film version of Verses was recently featured in the Hip Hop Film Festival, the Harlem International Film Festival, and won the International Spotlight Award at the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival. As an actor he’s done off-Broadway, network television, and the big screen.




upcoming programs

Hip Hop Storytelling Challenge: History of Hip Hop

Join Hip Hop Coordinator Ralph McDaniels as he tells the story of hip hop's history through the music itself. Tune in live on Instagram,

Thursday, August 27

Hip Hop Storytelling Challenge: Find Your Creative Voice

The call to action: tell your story, change the narrative, and challenge the status quo of hip hop culture! Sit down with hip hop theatre artist Malik Work as he discusses the creative process behind his 2016 film Verses at Work to help inspire you to find your own creative voice. Attend here:

Tuesday, September 1



Major support provided by New York Life Foundation, the city-wide sponsor for the Summer Reading Program.