Keepers of the Art is an urban arts and entertainment company designed to preserve the integrity of urban artistic expressions through progressive artistic and live entertainment outlets. We are deeply committed to spreading diversity and enhancing pride through the arts and entertainment while working to bring down barriers by bringing different groups of people together through the passion for music and art. We believe that we can fight the battle against negative influences in the world through the creation of more socially responsible artistic and entertainment outlets for ALL human beings..

Based out of Akron, OH, Keepers of the Art has and will continue to, consistently push the boundaries of what entertainment and education could/should be.

the sankofa show PODCAST

Produced by KEEPERS OF THE ART, INC., THE SANKOFA SHOW is a 60 minute weekly radio show airing Saturday nights from 8-9pm. The word Sankofa is derived from Twi language of Ghana and translates as "Go back and get it" (san - to return; ko - to go; fa- to fetch, to seek and take) and also refers to the Asante Adinkra symbol represented either with a stylized heart shape or a bird with its head turned backwards carrying a precious egg in its mouth. SANKOFA is often associated with the African proverb "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten".

It is in the spirit of the ancestors that THE SANKOFA SHOW seeks to bridge the generational gap in our community by exposing our youth to the socially impactful forms of hip hop music that mainstream outlets have either forgotten or neglected to showcase. There is a glaring imbalance displayed in the majority of playlists on most urban hip hop shows. Traditionally, hip hop music was the voice of the people. It allowed disenfranchised youth to address the social conditions that plagued their communities. The music of the culture gave these youth an outlet and an opportunity to speak truth to power.

THE SANKOFA SHOW will spotlight artists and groups from hip hop's golden age such as KRS 1, Public Enemy, Rakim and many others. In order to truly bridge the generational gap THE SANKOFA SHOW will also spotlight contemporary hip hop artists that are keeping the tradition of socially responsible lyrics in tact such as J Cole & Kendrick Lamar. It is our hope that through this blend of old and new THE SANKOFA SHOW will bring generations together under the universal umbrella of hip music and spark much needed dialogue as well as mentorship. THE SANKOFA SHOW will also encourage local aspiring hip hop artists to submit material for airplay that fits into the model of socially responsible lyrics.

In addition to showcasing these significant artists THE SANKOFA SHOW will provide knowledgeable commentary on the significance of songs, artists and the impact of lyrics on the pulse of the listener. There will also be occasional guests (in studio or via phone) to offer additional commentary and expertise. THE SANKOFA SHOW seeks to attract a broad spectrum of listeners...from teens to parents who can listen together, enjoy the nostalgia, celebrate the current and discuss the impact.


Keepers of the Art, Inc (KOTA) is seeking matching funds in the amount of $55,860 for the production 2017 Hip-Hop Preservation Project. We are excited to say that KOTA was chosen a 2016 winner of the Knight Foundation’s City of Akron Arts Challenge. Winners of the Art Challenge are charged of raising the matching funds in order to receive their monetary rewards.

The inaugural HHPP will take place September 14-16, 2017 at various venue locations within the City of Akron. The Weekend will consist of an assortment of events including: concerts, lectures, films, discussions, workshops and presentations. Join the HHPP Movement and become a part of the solution. Together we can bring Hip Hop back to its roots.

The Hip-Hop Preservation Project (HHPP) is a catalyst for an international movement designed to counteract the commercialization of hip-hop music through the re-education and re-introduction of Hip-Hop culture’s original worldview, it history and its other original cultural elements on a community-based level.

The HHPP is intended to unify and galvanize the international hip hop community and all those concerned with protecting and preserving the integrity of the culture. We believe that there are thousands of individuals who are disenfranchised at the current commercialization and dumbing down of the culture.

The HHPP gives these individuals an opportunity to play a part in "making hip hop great again,"whether through attendance or financial support. The primary goal of the HHPP is to bridge the generational gap that exists in the culture. This generational gap consistently creates dysfunction within the culture. It allows contemporary artists to dismiss the importance of knowing and respecting those artists who paved the way. It also keeps the elders of the culture from connecting with the contemporary artists to offer guidance.

Hip Hop’s music is a music of the people, just as folk, country, gospel, jazz...etc. it should reflect the diversity of the people. When it only reflects the lowest form of a people it becomes problematic. We need balance! Especially now, with the potential future ahead, the Hip Hop community needs to galvonize itself under its universal umbrella of "love, peace, unity & having fun". We can no longer allow corporate interests to dictate the language, thoughts & images that permeate the minds of our youth & society through the guise of hip hop.

Our culture called Hip-Hop was born from systemic neglect and racist policies that sought to remove artistic expression from a people who originated so much of what we listen to today.

These inhumane thoughts and practices were met by a revolutionary youth movement, determined to speak "truth to power.” This is what created Hip Hop, this is what inspired Hip Hop, and this is what defines Hip Hop...a voice to those without a voice and power to those who feel powerless.

In order to bring Hip Hop back to its roots, we must regain control over the musical content so that contemporary artists are comfortable expressing themselves without the influence of those who are only concerned with the economic gain of commercialized rap music. We must shift the focus from the "individual" back to the "community.” This is done by connecting and bridging the generational gap between the cultural pioneer and the contemporary artists, who lack the necessary mentoring before they address and influence our youth. Especially now, with the potential future ahead, the Hip Hop community needs to galvanize itself under its universal umbrella of "love, peace, unity & having fun". We can no longer allow corporate interests to dictate the language, thoughts & images that permeate the minds of our youth & society through the guise of hip hop. Join the HHPP Movement and become a part of the solution. Together we can PRESERVE HIP HOP.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • To create an international platform for “Hip-Hoppas” from all over the U.S. and the globe to converge, contemplate, and converse about Hip-Hop’s history, its present and its future socio-economic and political impact.

  • To help maintain Hip-Hop Culture’s lineage and its original socio-political impact through a weekend long of “edutainment” events.

  • To act as a “Rites of Passage” or mentoring outlet for the youth, community elders and aspiring artists alike by introducing them to the pioneers who established and pushed the Culture forward from an artistic and business standpoint.

  • To examine the influence of corporate America on Hip-Hop culture in order to better understand their relationship and the impact it has had on its evolution.

  • To help close the “generational gap” between the Culture’s pioneers, purists, and contemporary artists through meaning programming and vital dialogue.

  • To dispel the myth that Hip-Hop is only a youth culture in order to re-establish the historical oral tradition of the pioneer/elder sharing the meaning and history of the Culture with the younger generation, and the world in general.

  • To promote Hip-Hop’s socio-economic independence through introducing and preserving present and new business models, and the creation of digital media outlets that promotes the Culture’s original worldview, its social and artistic diversity and more control of its global representation and image.

  • To charge and motivate all those in attendance with returning to their perspective communities and establishing community-based or “grassroots” Hip-Hop education initiatives in order to preserve the Culture and spark an international preservation movement.

  • To introduce and expose young people to the cultural elements of Hip-Hop culture to promote skill mastery (i.e. - djaying, b-boying, creative writing and the visual arts)

Ismail Al-Amin / Brandon Buckner
Monty Buckner /
Donovan Rogers / Bay Shaun Seay

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