Civic Innovation Fellow 2016-2017 // Civic Innovation Resident 2019
Soul Food Cypher
Soul Food Cypher’s mission is to utilize the power of freestyle rap to transform the lives of individuals through cypher events, artist development, and community outreach.
Soul Food Cypher is a community arts organization that uses the power of speech, specifically freestyle rap, to transform individuals and communities. The Cypher offers a membership program, monthly cypher events, and empowers community engagement. Above all, the Cypher is a place for sharing and listening.
Alex is a photographer, community leader, and arts advocate. While teaching media production to at-risk teens, Alex saw such brilliance and spontaneous ingenuity in his students and saw an opportunity for them to improve themselves and their communities through their words. Shortly after, Alex formed Soul Food Cypher and has taken it into classrooms, arts centers, and communities across the city. Since 2012, Alex has grown and lead Soul Food Cypher from the basement of a community arts center to stages at Atlanta's High Museum of Art, A3C Music Festival, Coca-Cola Headquarters, and University campuses.
Soul Food Cypher utilizes the power of speech to transform the lives of individuals and their communities. We are an organization that showcases the positive aspects of rap through our cypher events, membership program, and community outreach. Our aim is to provide Atlanta’s lyricist (rappers) community with a safe and nurturing environment where their voice and artistry can grow. In addition, we look to solidify the art of freestyling as a genuine aesthetic to the wider artistic community and carry this rich tradition to the next generation.
Alexander Acosta is a Community Leader, Arts Advocate, and the Executive Director of Soul Food Cypher. In 2011, he had a vision of creating the cypher while mentoring at-risk teenagers at the Whitefoord Intel computer clubhouse in in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally, he aimed to teach students media production at the clubhouse, but quickly found he could reach them directly through their shared passion of hip-hop. Experiencing their brilliance and spontaneous ingenuity, he became a believer in their ability improve themselves and their communities through their words. From this Soul Food Cypher was born in 2012. Since then, he has lead Soul Food Cypher from the basement of Wonderroot community arts center to stages at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, A3C Music Festival, and Coca-Cola Headquarters and to classrooms on Emory University and Georgia State University's campuses.