Center for Urban Arts needs community to step up - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Center for Urban Arts needs community to step up


Some folks are "breaking' it" in Phoenix – not the law, but boundaries in dance.

Graffiti art is another way you can express your creativity at Cyphers: The Center for Urban Arts. And, for some, it's keeping them off the street and out of trouble.

"Whether it be dance, poetry, telling a story around a campfire - that's your Cypher - that circle that you share energy in," explained co-owner Danny Morales.

Morales and his crew have been sharing that energy at their Center for Urban Arts in Phoenix for two years now.

"Our message to the youth is you can live hip-hop in a positive way," he said. "It's not the negativity you see out in the world."

Affordable classes bring graffiti indoors, where it comes alive on canvas and murals.

"The art is the art," said Morales. "But, there's a certain way to go about it - where it's legally done."

And, then there's dance – from breaking to freestyle.

It has grabbed 16-year-old KeAnna Flores' heart, and helped her to heal after losing her father to cancer.

"It gave me a purpose again," said Flores. "It gave me a reason to even be here. It let me actually live finally. My life is amazing now."

But Cyphers,  which offers scholarships to kids who can't afford classes as well as free Fridays,  where the community can come to dance, draw or DJ,  needs to find a new home fast.

Their lease is up in March and the owner wants to level the building.

"We need support financially and backing from those sponsors out there who are looking for something positive to invest in," said Morales. "We cater to youth. So, we're looking to be around the area of the light rail - because that's their means of transportation."

Students like Flores are working hard to raise funds and keep the dream alive.

They're hoping the community will step up too and help save Cyphers.

"There's always somebody who needed this place or somebody who knows somebody who needed this place," said Flores. "And, if this is gone – that's just so much that's thrown away. You know, that can't happen."

Cyphers is holding a fundraising dance battle Saturday, Jan. 11 from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. featuring ballet to break dancing.

Tickets cost $10.

Another dance battle will be held on Jan. 25, which is Cypher's two-year anniversary, and will feature dance crews from all over Arizona.

To learn more about Cyphers – The Center for Urban Arts, click here.

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