Launched this past summer, the Black Artists Fund has already disbursed two rounds of grants, with more contributions and camaraderie planned for 2021. In this series, we introduce some of the BAF recipients. For more about the BAF grants, go here.
From Sacramento to Puerto Rico, Jalen Tyre’ has danced on stages alongside Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee, and he was just in Miami on the set of a music video. Tyre’ says his time spent on tour with Daddy Yankee in Puerto Rico made him want to return to Sacramento and encourage other creatives to thrive in their hometown.
“I was on tour in Puerto Rico for about a month or two; we did 13 to 14 shows in his hometown,” he says. “It was so amazing. The energy I received as a dancer on stage was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It gave me more drive to do more things like that in Sacramento, actually. Because of what I felt in Puerto Rico performing with Daddy Yankee, I want to be able to also use this as a steppingstone to create a platform for people in Sacramento just to stay in Sac and live their dreams.”
Tyre’ is part of a couple of dance crews, @VT916Fam and @VibeTribeSac, that simply like to gather outdoors and dance. When he moves to the music, it’s fluid and free-form, but with a hip-hop aesthetic that makes you bob along to the rhythms he creates with his body.
“I think it’s very important that artists continue to be artists, because without the arts, we would honestly be so lost,” Tyre’ says. “A lot of us wouldn’t be able to tell our full story. We all connect through art. The fact that I was able to connect with so many people because we just wanted to dance—it shows that Sacramento is a city full of love and connectivity and community.”