Our DJ workshop series becomes a Knight Arts Challenge Recipient
After becoming a recipient of the Knight Arts Challenge Grant, Seraphine Collective is excited to announce the expansion of their workshop series intended to teach female-identified and gender non-conforming individuals how to DJ with vinyl records. Along with technical skills, the workshops provide resources, peer-support and encouragement for those entering the electronic music scene. The first workshop series took place this past April, taught by local DJ Mother Cyborg (Diana Nucera). Over the course of four weeks, eight women with diverse musical tastes and cultural backgrounds learned how to use turntables, handle, select and “read” vinyl records, isolate sounds, and use BPMs to beat-match, all in a supportive and collaborative community environment.
DJ Culture, in Detroit and elsewhere, is male-dominated: VICE Magazine reports that women make up under 10% of all DJs at music festivals. There is also a high barrier to entry — the cost of equipment and records can be prohibitive, and as beginners, women are less likely to have access to technical mentorship, practice space and opportunities to perform. The first workshop had to turn away about half of the applicants. That demand highlights the series’ potential to breathe fresh air into the city’s electronic music scene.
Five of the DJs that participated in the first workshop series made their debut performances at Seraphine Collective’s annual summer music festival, BFF Fest, this past August. Referring to themselves as part of the House of Cyborg, due to the mentorship of Mother Cyborg, these ladies join other female DJ Collectives springing up around the world: Discwoman in NYC, Born N Bread in London, and TGAF in Paris. Seraphine Collective has been hosting a monthly DJ night at the UFO Factory in Corktown featuring the “Baby DJs” from the first class, alongside other, established female DJs and performers.
But Seraphine Collective needs YOUR help to match our grant from the Knight Foundation. An upcoming internet crowd-funding campaign is in the works to help raise the matching funds for the Knight Foundation grant, and local and corporate sponsorships are being sought. Details on how interested aspiring DJs can get involved are forthcoming.
You can donate by clicking HERE.
If you have equipment or supplies that you would like to contribute in lieu of a monetary contribution, please view our list of needed equipment below and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will gladly accept new, second-hand, or in good condition.
- Turntable needles
- Records (all genres)
- 1/4 inch and XLR cords/adapters
- Turntable/mixer flight cases (Marathon brand preferred)
- Portable speakers (XLR or 1/4 inch inputs)
- DJ Mixers (1/4 inch or XLR outputs)
- Direct-drive turntables (Technic 1200 preferred)
- CDJs (Pioneer brand preferred)
- Traktor or Serato software and control vinyl
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. They invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Their goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which they believe are essential for a healthy democracy. More information is available at knightfoundation.org