For profit business

Geoff Gallegos/daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra

I am applying as a composer with an idea about housing. I have no achievements in the housing sector. At this point, it’s an achievement to make my rent payment on time. My achievements have all happened on a stage, in a classroom or in a recording studio. As a composer/conductor, my friends and I started daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra in a nightclub in 1999. We started it with no money. By 2001, we had made it to Grand Performances. In 2002, we made a CD, no record label. In 2004, we were onstage at Disney Concert Hall, San Francisco and in Vegas. In 2005, we were at Hollywood Bowl, South By Southwest, New Orleans during Jazzfest. The movie “HIP HOP MAESTRO” was released in 2011. The film traces this journey from the street to symphony hall. This is what makes me think we can pull it off. All we had to work with was sheet music, and cats in chairs, learning how to play it. After more than a decade, we’ve built a deep community of musicians in L.A. daKAT House operates with the same philosophy as daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, upping the stakes by providing a cheap roof over their heads. As a musician, I’ve learned how to make something out of nothing. The times I’ve been entrusted with resources have seen success more often than failure. My strength is knowing my weakness, and finding the right people to execute the task.

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1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    daKAT House: A Public Housing Project for musicians.

    I am offering a scenario that impacts two of the eight suggested indicators; housing and arts/cultural vitality. In 2013, many artists cannot afford to live in the “artist district”, because the rent is so high. Please follow me as I speak as if my idea is already a reality: In downtown Los Angeles, there is a 128-unit building that is filled with musicians, and people who promote the music they generate. 22 floors of cats. The building has a house jazz orchestra, a house symphonic orchestra, and daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra. There are also dozens of offshoot groups. Every month, they give a concert that costs five bucks to see. Everyone who lives there teaches privately for ten bucks a lesson. There is a concert hall, and a café on the ground floor. The sound of tenant recitals fill the air. Every performance is recorded, filmed, and streamed around the world. In exchange for $400.00/month rent, each musician provides a ten-day/month commitment to rehearsal, performance, recitals, private lessons, and recording sessions. In the course of a year, the people who live there generated four hundred CDs worth of recorded music. House of daKAH cats. daKAT House. Like I said, this proposal follows the "Twobird/Onestone" theory of social policy. As we get deeper into the 21st century, it's getting more important to find ways to cover a coupla bases with one paycheck. We impact two indicators by providing affordable housing to a focused group of people who will enrich the musical landscape of the city. PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECT FOR MUSICIANS The first step in my idea is to partner with an existing non-profit housing organization, (or an individual who can create one), that can apply to HUD on our behalf. As a full-time musician, I am talking in vague terms about laws and regulations that I know nothing about. I am confident that someone with knowledge of this terrain will be able to navigate through the various housing programs that are available through the federal government that would support this approach to housing. At first glance, an Artist-Based public housing project could exploit a combination of Section 8 tenant status, a Section 107 Community Development Block Grant, Section 3 Economic Opportunities, Section 221 Multifamily Rental Status and Section 213 Cooperative Housing programs. The process of finding musicians to live in the building is a combination of an orchestra audition, applying for an O-1 Artist Visa and an application for Section 8 housing. We aren’t looking for rich people who want to pay cheap rent. We are looking for musicians, at any phase in their career, who need a break on the rent. In addition to financial need, each tenant must demonstrate exceptional ability on their instrument. Each tenant is also required to stay in L.A. during the term of their lease at daKAT House. Short trips are negotiable, but the purpose is to build a house orchestra, of reliable cats.