Boise Hive Awarded $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Rap Summer Camp 2024

Boise Hive is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $15,000. This grant will support the Rap America Project (RAP). In total, the NEA will award 1,135 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $37 million as part of its second round of fiscal year 2024 grants. 

“Projects like Boise Hive’s Rap America Project exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection, and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities—all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “So many aspects of our communities such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, and the economy are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

Project Director Brenda Francis says: “I have organized a summer music camp in Boise, Idaho and am looking for sponsors to help match this National Endowment for the Arts grant. It is unique in that it specializes in rap music. The project goals are to teach communication and foster creativity through songwriting and music appreciation, specifically through the actions of speaking, writing, listening, editing, evaluating, and working in small groups. The grant money will be used for full scholarships to the RAP camp so all students can attend the 2-week camp for free.”

The Rap America Project will host a Summer Music Camp in July of 2024 for high school and college students. Participants will learn aspects of producing rap and hip-hop music from beat making, lyrics, and songwriting, to performance. The project aims to cultivate the development of transferable life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression, cross-cultural understanding, and collaboration.

Successful local rap producers, music beat writers (composers), lyric and poetry writers (songwriters), and recording engineers will all work at the camp, becoming mentors to attendees and giving them instruction and exposure to different artistic options, knowledge and common industry techniques. Staff will strive to keep lyrics radio-friendly and topics respectful towards all people. 

This project offers a place for youth from diverse backgrounds to learn more about rap. Hip Hop is similar to Rap music but Hop Hop is also known to include clothing and lifestyle culture along with Rap music. According to Billboard and Nielsen, in 2022 Hip Hop was the #1 genre in the United States and is most popular among teens and young adults. This project was created to reach this young demographic, by offering summer music programs that they would be interested in attending.

Ages served will be 13 through 22 years old. In a synergistic fashion, this age group aligns with Boise Hive’s mission to prevent suicide and offer low-price mental health services to musicians and the creative community. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one-half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24.

For more information about Rap America Project, how to sponsor, or to register as a participant for the RAP Summer Camp, please visit:

For more information about the Boise Hive’s mission and their other programs, please visit:

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, please visit

Brenda Francis

Brenda Francis has worked with the Boise Hive since 2016 serving as the audio educator. She teaches recording classes and leads a community drum circle. In 2005 she founded a nonprofit organization that focuses on teens, music, and job training after graduating with a Bachelor degree in Art & Entertainment Management and a Master’s in Business Administration. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors of this organization, Modesto Sound, while teaching audio technology classes in Idaho at several locations. Her past work experience includes Audio Engineer (recording over 500 artists and creating hundreds of radio shows) at Modesto Sound, Treasurer at the Modesto Symphony, Manager at the Brubeck Jazz Music Camp, and Audio Technology Professor at University of the Pacific. In 2020 Brenda designed a project called Creative Culture Beats, a cultural awareness audio podcast and performance showcase that pays artists, which continues to serve the Boise, Idaho community.

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