Before creating our first program, before raising any funds, and pretty much before everything else imaginable, we dedicated ourselves to the long process of figuring out who The Muse Collaborative was and what we stood for. Because there’s no shortage of good work to be done in the world and because directionless work commonly leads to oppression, it was necessary for us to discern what, how, and why we wanted to create. The core of our identity can be found in the relationships we make, and those relationships are guided by our mission, vision, and values. Check those out below and connect with us if you believe in these statements as strongly as we do.
To promote excellence in, expression through, and appreciation for the hip-hop arts
A Camden revered for its people, culture, and artistic merit
OUR GUIDING VALUES
Community is the real and dirty stuff of interconnected relationships, whether intentional or incidental, where individuals establish connections and craft belonging. Community is intimacy, sharing, and collaboration.
Creativity springs from internalized freedom and begets both purpose and value. Through necessity, we learn to live; through creativity, we become. Creativity, although complex, does not mean complexity and it doesn’t have to be ‘good’ in some aesthetic sense. The difficult thing about creativity is that tightly defining it limits it; sometimes it’s the out-of-tune notes that make a song what it is. Creativity also means The Muse Collaborative doesn’t censor artists.
Respect is an active choice that puts action to our inner values. It paints our relationships with others and shapes the way we see ourselves. If we do not respect ourselves, we cannot fully seek reverence for others. Art can disturb or disgust, it can be grotesque or unnerving. And it can be respected for these (or other) traits. Respect means learning to appreciate what we do not like and to correctly honoring what we do.
Diversity is more than difference, it’s a celebration of that which isn’t like you, your history, or your surroundings. Hip-hop itself relies on cultures outside of its own scope; without difference and diversity, the art of the sample would be dead.