• This isn't just a website.



    We use music, art and hip hop culture to bring a community of all ages and backgrounds together in positive and meaningful ways. This is done through the creation of youth programs, community outreach and service, artist development, cultural awareness and quality events.

    Community Outreach and Leadership

    Mission: Young Leaders + Conversations +Service + Outreach



    Auburn Hip Hop Congress is available to provide tailored Assemblies, Workshops, Conferences or Events for your organization, school or business. With a diverse and creative group of performers (all genres), visual artists, keynote speakers and workshop facilitators AHHC's roster adds a 'wow' factor to every event!



    Past events/topics/audiences include: Anti-Bullying Assemblies, Community Service Project Workshops, Creative Expression Writing Workshops in Classrooms, Music Video Camps for After-School Programs, Mental Health Awareness Events, Substance Abuse Prevention Community Forums and Much, Much More!


    For more info and booking, please contact Natalie Pohley at nataliepohley@gmail,com

    Dia de Los Muertos- A Community Remembrance

    Mission: Community + Culture 
    Auburn, CA

    PlacerArts and Auburn Hip Hop Congress are very excited to be the catalyst for a community supported, cultural education and experience of a Dia de los Muertos Ceremony. We are honored to be able to work with artist, activist and cultural educator; Stan Padilla on this very special event. We believe that it will be a very healing and positive way to bring youth and adults together to honor our ancestors and people close to our hearts who have passed on.

    This event will host a variety of traditional activities including cultural education, crafts, altar construction, poetry, music and light refreshments. 

    Writing & Reciting- Healing through Written and Spoken Word

    Mission: Expression + Creative Platforms + Young Voices
    Auburn, California

    Writing is tool that is accessible to anyone. It doesn’t cost a thing and it can be very therapeutic. This FREE, weekly workshop, designed for teens and young adults, explores self-expression through using writing, hip hop music and discussion as a tool for personal growth and mental well-being. We provide a safe, comfortable place and platform which opens up a dialogue on topics that are relevant to youth today. Each week a different topic is covered by guest facilitators including, writers, songwriters and touring hip hop performers. Mentors for extra help and guidance are available during class hours. Classes are held at the Auburn Library on Thursday's from 4pm-6pm.

    Growing Peace Camp

    Mission: Youth + Community Building + Brighter Futures
    Auburn, California

    Growing Peace Camp is a week long day camp for young people of all ages. Camp focuses on concepts of awareness, peace and justice. Through unique and fun, hands on activities including music, art, drama, guest speakers, media projects and more, we explore on issues that affect our world with an emphasis on solutions and what WE can do to make a positive difference. We are very excited about this year's theme "Peace with the Planet". Watch for some fun family events leading up to camp. Please like our Growing Peace Camp page for guaranteed updates! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Growing-Peace-Camp/605786216218358?fref=ts The videos attached are from last year’s media camp shows our Growing Peace Camp Media Track for Junior High students. This series of interviews includes young Growing Peace Campers interviewing community leaders on the concept of peace in the community. We will be releasing an episode everyday so stay tuned! 

    WHAT: Growing Peace Camp 2015 
    WHO: Ages 5-11, Junior High Media Program and High School Volunteer Program also available. 
    WHEN: August 3-7, 20159am-1pm 
    WHERE: Alta Vista Community Charter School in Auburn, CA. 
    CONTACT: Natalie Pohley nataliepohley@gmail.com  (530)368-4455 

    Some Kind of Earth Day Festival

    Mission: Music + Art + Community
    Auburn, California

    Together, Musician’s and multiple organizations will host an educational and interactive FAMILY EVENT that brings the community together for a unique and unforgettable experience!


    Offering a little something for everyone. This year’s Sustainability Awareness Festival features interactive booths such as Composting/Gardening, Turntables/Beat-making, Art/Music & Leadership and has expanded the musical entertainment lineup to include a local youth musicians showcase that is sure to WOW.  The mixed genres include: folk and rock along with the great family friendly hip-hop the Auburn Hip Hop Congress is known for.


    With record setting droughts and the rising cost of food, environmental impact is an ever increasing issue in today’s world. Through this event, the Auburn Hip Hop Congress hopes to share the tools and resources needed to protect our environment.


    “We believe that by bringing all of these different groups together, we are working towards a stronger, healthier (more-connected) community. And THIS is a day that we have designed, exactly for that reason!” - Rocky Zapata


    Proceeds from this event support the “Writing and Reciting~ Healing Through Written and Spoken Word” program, a free weekly writing workshop for teens and young adults, held every Thursday at the Auburn Placer County Library, Beecher Room, 4pm-6pm.

    Artist Development

    Mission: Entrepreneurism + Opportunity + Mentors 
    Auburn, California

    AHHC works with young independent artists aspiring to achieve success, while gaining technical and leadership skills that will help them achieve their goals, in whatever path they choose. Using an extensive artist network, AHHC also helps them seek out professional outlets and business opportunities within their artistry
    Contact Rocky Zapata for more info!

    Give Thanks! Community Awards Ceremony

    Mission: Social Change Leaders + Community + Recognition
    Auburn, California

    "Give Thanks- Awards Ceremony" honors youth and teachers who are making a difference in our community! To nominate a teacher, youth, organization or business making a difference please email nataliepohley@gmail.com. 


    This event takes place in November. Date TBA.







    Natalie Pohley

    Community and Youth Organizer

    A Native of Auburn CA, Natalie Pohley has been and become a household name in the community in which she lives over the past few years. When it comes to the old motto, “it takes a village to raise a child”, she not only exemplifies that for her very own family, but for the entire community as a whole. She is the Co-Founder and Community Youth Organizer of the Auburn Hip Hop Congress. A program that has proudly changed the name and face of hip hop culture in her small town forever! “In Auburn when you say hip hop, doors open everywhere, this is not by accident”, she says! Passionate about community building, she loves developing programs, ideas, events that will pull the community together and give the youth and artists a voice. She is the co-creative mind behind many of the innovative programs in the community such as: Make a Difference Camp, Urban Arts, Auburn Hip Hop Congress Ambassador & Leadership Training, Artist Development, and Writing and Reciting~ Healing Through the Written and Spoken Word series of workshops. Natalie is a visionary whose hopes and drive are to empower our youth and help them realize their  dreams, she supports the youth in their ventures to develop as artists, performers, entrepreneurs, event planners, community organizers, workshop teachers and so much more. She has an immense amount of passion for the young people in her community. As a true community building block she helps feed the creative parts of an artist’s soul and is a motivator to others to keep moving forward.


    Rocky Zapata

    Business Manager
    Rocky Zapata is a Community Organizer and co-creator of AHHC whose specialties include media arts/videography, photography, artist development, event planning, marketing and public speaking. As a former adjudicated youth himself,Rocky has discovered a passion for alternative education, early intervention and advocacy through music, arts and leadership programs; and specifically utilizing the Hip Hop culture as a tool for empowerment through self-expression. Using his story to relate, Rocky has established himself as a trusted advocate for the youth in the community. Rocky’s creative approach to media arts, gives young people a chance to tell their stories and to think more deeply about things that are important to them; helping provide them the space and access to artistic mediums that will assist them in their growth; to pursue their interests, musical, artistic and otherwise; discovering new talents and gaining new skills, while making important connections; opening-up and learning about themselves and others; having their voices valued, as well as building confidence in sharing their stories and gifts with the world. Rocky’s believes that we all have something important to contribute to the world and that all of us can positively impact another life through realizing and using our own stories and helping/encouraging others to do the same; “Each One, Teach One” is Rocky Zapata’s approach to community building, youth advocacy and artist development, as “We are all Champions of Lived Experience, in one way or another!” #itsworking  

    D. Pierre Butler

    Artist Teacher and Poet, Drums, Pottery & Ceramics, Spoken Word Poetry


    D Pierre Butler is an internationally known Gallery Artist (ceramic sculpture) His studio "The Hands That Speak" has an emphasis and passion for welcoming and teaching the youth of all walks, all ages, all conditions, in all communities. Mr. Butler has been recognized for his tireless work with ("at-risk") challenged youth in the system as well as on the streets. He has worked in public schools to home schools. i.e. Alder Grove, and Sundown. Although no longer open, "The Hands That Speak “studio was always a safe haven for youth to come and work out, talk out issues or just for someone to listen. He has become the first African American owner and curator of a fine art gallery (M.A.P. Gallery) in the Placer county region. D Pierre is also an international award winning and published Poet, a licensed Chef (classically), a professional Photographer, and a Musician (Djembe drummer).

    Stan Padilla

    Artist Teacher, Drawing, Painting, Muralism, Jewelry Making

    Stan Padilla is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator and cultural artist with disciplines including drawing, painting, muralism, and jewelry making. He has exhibited his work internationally with works included in prominent collections. As an educator he has been a longtime consultant in Indian education programs, as an art instructor at Sierra College, community and cultural centers.

    He has been an artist in residence in community schools for over ten years with the California Arts Council. He is associated with the International Waldorf education movement. 
    The Sierra Nevada is an inspiration for his artwork and life. He is an interpretive guide for the Sutter Buttes, on the advisory board of the Maidu Interpretive Center and leads groups to the American River Tours in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. In cultural exchange programs he has travelled to Russia, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Born in 1945, Padilla is of Yaqui Indian and Mexican/Chicano heritage. A Placer County Arts Council recognizes Padilla as an artist/mentor of “All Colors of the Earth Wisdom Project”.



    Artist Teacher, Rapping & Vocabulary Games

    Chris Owens is self-proclaimed Hip Hop enthusiast and song writer from Auburn CA. Heavily influenced by the Hip Hop culture; he has been writing songs and poetry for about 9 years and performing them for 5. Over the years Hip Hop has become a powerful outlet, helping him find his own identity along the way. He recognizes this culture as a tool for self-empowerment and is on a mission to pass the torch to other aspiring artists. Over the years his love for word play has taken him many places, such as performing live shows with respected Hip Hop legends, competing in multiple poetry contests, emcee competitions, the Sacramento rap scene and even teaching multiple writing workshops around our community. Looking at Hip Hop as more than a self-empowering tool, but ALL empowering too his mission is to spread positivity in Hip Hop while staying true to the roots of the culture and putting out great music.


    Performing Artist, Speaker, Anti-Bullying Assemblies
    The hip hop music genre has a new, inspiring, young talent known in the booth and up on stage as Dangerous Joker Joe. Better known by his friends and family as Joseph Torres, he surprises all of them when he grabs the mic and shows them what he does best. Everybody listens to their own genre of music, D.J.J has respect and listens to all genres. But the genre he has the most respect for and listens to the most is hip hop. D.J.J finds everything in hip hop interesting, the history, the culture, and so on. Coming from the hills of Auburn, California, there is no other town that D.J.J would love to represent other than the incredible area of the 5-3-0.

    Ashely Foreman

    Visual Artist, Artist Teacher, Workshop Leader

    From a young age Ashely’s parents encouraged her already abundant creativity as a method of assisting her human and spiritual development. At age 15, she began painting in response to the conflict between her internal and external environment, and as a means for internal exploration. Her work is influenced by a deep and profound love for Life & Nature, and is guided by knowing that beauty is a powerful tool for  cultural transformation. Primarily a painter, she also writes and practices energy healing. She is currently living and working in Nevada City, CA.

    Michael Brim

    Founder of "Cypher Hip Hop Workshops" and Artist Teacher

    With 25 years of experience, Michael has worked with youth in a variety of settings.  While employed by the City of Sacramento Recreation Department, he planned, facilitated, and coordinated recreational activities and programs as a Recreation Aide and Program Coordinator. Most recently, he serves as the Program Director for Wind Youth Services, an agency that provides services for homeless and at-risk youth ages 11 to 22.  In that role, he was responsible for the supervision of the numerous programs that operated at the Wind Center, and provided support, guidance, and leadership to the staff that provided direct service to the youth. The passion that Michael has for developing programs for youth, as well as working directly working with them, is equally matched by his passion for and knowledge of Hip Hop culture.  He has been facilitating The Cypher Hip Hop Workshops, a youth empowerment thru Hip Hop culture program, at public schools and other community based programs in the Sacramento area since the spring of 2009.

    Elle Beyer

    Co-Founder of "Free Flow Academy of Hybrid Arts" and Artist Teacher, Parkour, Martial Arts, Theater & Media Arts

    Elle Beyer is Co-Founder of Free Flow Academy, founding member of Eagle & Hawk PK, and founding member of NeoFlow Parkour.  She is a serial entrepreneur, mother of 4, and has a physical fitness background of 14+ years Kung Fu and Martial Arts, and 25+ years of movement arts experience.  She also has an entertainment background (under the name Elle Bennett), having traveled the world as a working stunt woman, actress, model, and sports newscaster/journalist.  She believes in creating the holistic athlete/artist and growing specific industries that have the potential to fill current needs while promoting overall health, longevity, environmental awareness, community, and humanity.  Bruce Lee's teachings heavily influence Elle's philosophies on the learning and growth of an artist. She is an accomplished entrepreneur in terms of social and environmental impact and creating sustainable business plans and models. She is the guiding force behind Free Flow Academy in terms of overall vision, creating additional and sustainable revenue streams, market research analysis, and shaping the industry in a way that has a positive impact that is unique in style, but fundamental in form. Aside from her own companies, she has also worked extensively in the non-profit sector, creating and orchestrating fitness, artistic, and leadership programs for youth, as well as designing and coordinating events, camps, and overall business models and structures to promote cost effective, and affordable programming.

    Andru Defeye

    Co-Founder of Zero FOrbidden Goals (ZFG) Artist Teacher, Creative Outlets, Music, Art &Poetry

    Dedicated to making the literary arts accessible and relevant to a new generation, Andru Defeye has shared stages with revolutionary beat poets and chart topping rappers alike. A co-founder of Sacramento’s Zero Forbidden Goals performance art collective, Andru Defeye is the creator of #TheMostOpenMicInTheCity, a unique pop-up performance art series as well as Chainlink Poetry, Sacramento’s first interactive poetry art installation.
    As an educator Andru Defeye has worked in schools including the Language Academy of Sacramento, Leataata Floyd Elementary, The Met High School, San Juan High, and Martin Luther King continuation school in Davis as well as working closely with Donate Life, Building Healthy Communities, Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, and the Boys and Men of Color conference.
    Learn more about Zero Forbidden Goals, #TheMostOpenMicInTheCity, Chainlink Poetry, National Guerrilla Poetry Month and more at ZFGpromotions.com.

    Douglas Kleinsmith

    Artist Teacher, Visual Arts, Aerosol & Acrylic

    Visual Artist, Douglas Kleinsmith is student and an incredible young artist from Placer County. His art can be found all throughout our area, on walls and canvases, alike. Douglas has been sought out for a number of community projects, murals and special events. His work has been displayed at local art galleries and has helped raise awareness about Graffiti as an art form and not just something being associated with crime. Specializing in various mediums, ranging from oils & acrylics to aerosols, watercolors & more. Douglas' art so is colorful & engaging.

    Cody Watson

    Artist Teacher, Video Directing & Editing
    Hi! My name is Cody Watson and I’m a videographer.
    I wish exploring art was given more significance during my youth. I don’t know if it was just never presented the right way or if that part of my development just didn’t activate, but now I’ve grown to understand the significance of art and how it relates to, well, everything.
    Architecture, mathematics, language, discovery…
    Discovery! Without it, we’re doomed.
    That’s why it’s so important we support the arts and build community programs that reach out to underrepresented groups, giving all kids a chance at finding their own inspiration.
    I support organizations that are bringing art and creative projects to the students of local communities by facilitating video productions and creating promotional materials.
    Who knows, we just might improve the chance of some kid who doesn’t feel any spark for art becoming an imaginative powerhouse who learns faster and gets inspired and creates the next life-changing step in humanity.

    Welcome to the blog! You can see my blog posts below.



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