So… What is going on with YAP!? The question is

What ISN’T!

Here are the most recent updates!


New Bedford,MA- September, 28th, 2011- On Thursday, September 29th, YAP will re-tell the story of Ellis Island from a vantage point never before heard. The Yap Youth have taken on the challenge of telling the tale in  a way where all voices can finally be honored.

When immigrants first came here they passed through Ellis Island. They brought with them their hopes, dreams, and expectations for new lives in America. We have all heard the story. We know it all too well… but what about the voices that were forgotten in the telling of the tale? It is not to say that we should not celebrate the positive energy that comes with sailing to a new destination, or the dreams gathered on streets paved with gold–but we have also got to be true to all those who were witnesses at this time, and share their experiences as well. So what to do?

Well in true YAP fashion, this entire viewpoint unfolds in a new upcoming track “American Dreams,” with special guest appearances by the Statue of Liberty herself played by yours truly, Kal “5th Elament” Champlain.  I had the pleasure to sit with the YAP Youth, Frank Barrows of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, and Ben “First B” Gilbarg  (video producer and engineer) during a video conference with Ellis Island as we prepared for their latest track. As the youth took notes and asked important questions, they gathered the necessary information to finally re-tell the story of Ellis Island leaving no viewpoint forgotten. The result? Well you will have to stay tuned … the track gets recorded this thursday and will be posted within the week!


Posted: August 5, 2011 by YAP! in Current Events 



“Walk With Me” is a walking tour of New Bedford explored through song and was filmed entirely in the city. The youth put their all into this track to show you the rich history of their hometown of New Bedford and we would love for you to see the amazing finished product! It is also an amazing opportunity to see how history can be shared through music.

At this event you will not only be able to walk the carpet with us, but have your photos taken and view all of your pictures on FLICKER as well as maybe make it onto our website!

Also you will receive a FREE poster of our new Ernestina mural while supplies last!


“My Backyard” is a new YouTube series that focuses on the millions of acres of public land available for all people to enjoy. The series was created by the 2011 Park Stewards and each episode explores a different National Park Site and the various was people enjoy them.

So come on out! Get fancy and join us on the red carpet!

Hope to see you there!

Posted July 12th…

Park Celebrates Great Outdoors Day

New Bedford, Mass.— On July 15, 2011 from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m., New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park will host a free family event at Buttonwood Park celebrating the great outdoors. Great Outdoors Day will feature tent set-up demonstrations, a climbing wall, campfire storytelling, camping basics, and an outdoor movie showing of the film, “The Great Outdoors.” The park is collaborating with the City of New Bedford, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches, Third Eye Unlimited, and the Marion Institute to put on the event. Great Outdoors Day will take place in the field to the north of the warming house at Buttonwood Park, near the pond. Free parking is available at the warming house.

The idea for Great Outdoors Day came from participants in the park’s Youth Ambassador Program, an after-school and summer program for New Bedford teens who communicate local and national history through music, video, live performances, events, and social media outreach. They came up with the concept for the event as a way to introduce the outdoors to populations that may not typically visit natural resource areas or participate in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or climbing. By familiarizing people with some of the fundamentals to safely enjoying the millions of acres of public land available in the U.S. and beyond, the Youth Ambassadors hope that nature will seem less foreign to the many city residents that do not explore beyond the SouthCoast.

The Youth Ambassador Program represents the youth voice of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and participants have created songs and videos that introduce topics such as whaling and Underground Railroad history, as well as a song encouraging young people to “Get Outside and Move” which landed them a front page feature on Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America’s nineteenth century whaling industry. The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States. The National Park visitor center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open seven days a week, from 9 AM-5 PM, and


The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.offers information, exhibits, and a free orientation movie on the hour from 10 AM-3 PM. The building is accessible. Admission is free. For more information, go the website at , or call 508-996-4095.


On April 22nd the YAP team sat down and talked with workers from Ellis Island as we gathered information for the newest track that we are calling “American Dreams.”  With pens in hand and questions to pose, the youth collected the research needed to begin to write the lyrics for a song that can explore the phrase we hear so often “The American Dream.”  It will be a collaborative track with national park sites in New York City and will explore the stories of different immigrants that came to this country, both through the ports of New York and New Bedford.

Although most immigrants came to this country through Ellis Island, many Cape Verdean immigrants came on packet ships to New Bedford and other ports in southeastern New England.The curveball with this song is that we are going to talk about those who were forced to come to this country through slavery.  We are going to talk about how the American dream can be a nightmare for some by exploring the story of the mass grave that was found under Manhattan with free and enslaved Africans inside.

“The thing that I love about working with this group” states Kalyana Champlain, YAP supporter and social media assistant, “is their ability to really take the time to do the digging; the time they take to look at the whole picture before they embark on writing the track. This program is amazing because the youth are challenged to write with accuracy and substance, and THEN deliver the message. It is an amazing process and shows how powerful hip hop can be with youth when approached correctly.”

American Dreams will be debuted  in NYC as part of the “Outdoor Nation Youth Summit” on June 26th. We will be keeping you posted as to the progress of the track. In the meantime please feel free to check out our tracks up to date! We thank you for your support and promise to keep on sharing quality music, rich history, and knowledge through youth via hip hop!



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