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The B-Girl Be Collection

The B-Girl Be Collection is a donation from DeAnna Dodds Cummings, the co-founder of B-Girl Be and executive director and co-founder of Juxtaposition Arts.  This collection features a video documentary produced by Emetrece Productions, event flyers, posters, and workshop materials with artwork by Toofly and Faith47. These materials are vital to preserving the role of women in Hiphop.

B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hiphop is a multimedia festival encompassing four elements of Hiphop: MCing, DJing, break dancing and aerosol writing.  Between 2003-2005, DeAnna Cummings, Desdamona, Leah Nelson, Rachel Raimist, Melisa Riviere, and Theresa Sweetland met weekly at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis to develop the idea and concept for B-Girl Be. In 2005, funded by fundraisers, sponsors and foundations, Intermedia Arts and the B-Girl Be co-founding directors produced the first-of-its-kind international women focused Hiphop summit in history. Women of all ages, colors and nationalities convened to celebrate Hiphop and share their knowledge, skills and experiences with the world. For the first time ever Intermedia Arts' exterior was painted by an all-female crew representing Japan, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Phoenix, Puerto Rico, and Minneapolis. B-Girl Be came at a crucial time in Hiphop, when images of women are often stereotypical and one-dimensional. It is the intention of B-Girl Be to dispel these myths and provide tools, connections, creative space and role models so that females can continue to be creators and innovators in Hiphop culture.

Since its inception, this annual four-day summit has brought over 200 international, national and local girls and women in Hiphop together in Minneapolis for dialogues, art-making, screenings, visual art exhibits,  performances, educational workshops and networking opportunities.

The mission of B-Girl Be is to influence and inspire leadership to change the perceptions and roles of women in Hiphop for current and future generations.

SAVE THE DATE!  B-Girl Be 2009 will feature summer camps for girls, Hip Hop dance performances, a block party at Intermedia Arts and an exhibition of visual, film and multimedia artwork by women and girls. Save the date now and make sure to come out to show your love and support for the ladies in Hip Hop this year!

B-Girl Be Block Party
Saturday, September 19, 2009

Summer Camps

August 11-14, 2009

B-Girl Be Exhibition: Mama Said Knock U Out!
August 27-October 23, 2009

Exhibition Opening Reception
Friday, August 28, 2009

Dance Performances
September 17-20, 2009

About DeAnna Dodds Cummings
DeAnna Dodds Cummings was growing up as Hiphop made its way across middle America through its earliest years.  The political and cultural movements of the 70s and 80s undergird Cummings’ work as an entrepeneur, scholar, activist and mother. In 1995, DeAnna, her husband Roger, and their childhood friend Peyton founded Juxtaposition Arts.  Juxtaposition is a North Minneapolis cultural organization that nurtures urban youth in their chosen forms of visual art expression, including Hiphop inspired aerosol art. It provides them with mentoring, equipment, audiences, business skills, connections to new networks, and a neighborhood place in which convene. Juxtaposition offers free year-round visual art and design workshops for youth, creative entrepreneurship mentoring for young people, and arts-based opportunities for residents and stakeholders in neighborhoods that have been politically and economically disinvested from, to participate in community planning and development. Juxtaposition engages local, regional and international audiences through public festivals, symposiums, and exhibitions. As its Executive Director, DeAnna has guided the growth of Juxtaposition from serving 15 youth in 1995, to more than 3,000 young people, 30 adult emerging artists, and 50 collaborative partners in 2008 and has raised $1.8 million in operating and capital funding over the organization’s lifetime.

Cummings was the curator of the Art of T&A: Truth and Activisim, and one of six women who founded B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop. Launched in 2005, B-Girl Be is based out of Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is an annual visual art show, performance showcase, lecture and workshop series.  B-Girl Be founders saw the need to tell the stories of women's contributions to Hiphop. In today's pop culture, women in Hiphop are too often spotlighted for their appearance rather than their skills and messages. When women have space to explore, create and perform, a diverse resource of female role models and mentors is unearthed for the next Hiphop generation of both girls and boys. Hiphop icons Rokafella, Pam the Funkstress, Medusa, DJ Kuttin Kandi, Asia One, Lady Pink and Martha Cooper are just some of the legends who have been featured artists, mentors, and supporters of B-Girl Be.

In 2005 the Jaycee’s named DeAnna one of Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans. In 2008 she received an Archibald A. Bush Leadership Fellowship to pursue graduate studies at Harvard University. DeAnna graduated with a Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2009.

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