South Dallas Cultural Center participants engage in the Oh, Deer! game as part of the  Arts in the Parks Hip Event at Lake Whitney State Park

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –Texas Parks & Wildlife Department staff hosted a group of teenage children for an Arts in the Parks Socially Conscious Hip Hop Workshop at Lake Whitney State Park on Saturday, April 19th in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Ten children and three adult chaperones from South Dallas Cultural Center spent the day at Lake Whitney State Park.  The workshop featured a van tour of the park, a guided nature walk, environmental education activities and time to write and present conservation-inspired hip hop poetry under the coaching of poet KD Brown.

“Socially conscious hip hop” is a genre of hip hop based on themes related to social issues or conflict.  This form of poetry aims to subtly inform the public about social issues and lead them to form their own opinions.

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department official Chris Bishop, “We’ve been looking forward to this program for months, and the results exceeded our expectations.  The children from South Dallas Cultural Center are exceptional.  These children fully engaged the event and put forth their best work on everything that we asked of them.  The poetry that they shared at the end of the day was both beautiful and inspiring.”

The South Dallas Cultural Center is a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, a member of the Dallas Art Dealers Association and a partner in the National Performance Network.  The South Dallas Cultural Center offers a wide variety of visual and performing arts events and youth programs featuring creative, fun and educational activities for children.

“It may be trite to say ‘it takes a village,’ but that certainly applies to this program.  This Arts in the Parks program, part of National Poetry Month, was made possible by the enormous contributions of our brothers and sisters in the Region 5 State Parks Office and Lake Whitney, Dinosaur Valley and Meridian State Parks,” said Bishop.  “Additionally, Brookshire’s of Whitney contributed drinks and snacks for the children, Lake Whitney Chamber of Commerce provided welcome packets and American Self Storage of Whitney generously sponsored a lunch meal at the Texas Country Café for both the children and event facilitators.  We are fortunate to have generous friends, both in our community and in Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.”

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

                             For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Luke Stucker, (254) 694-3793, email –luke.stucker@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.