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Founding Fathers Cypher

cypher /(sai·fr)/
A cypher is a gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or poets who take turns performing their work.


  • “Oliver Ellsworth” – Ainsley Richards (9th grade)
  • “The Silhouette: The Story of Lucy Knox” – Adaobi Iwuanyanwu (11th grade)
  • “The American Revolution” – Amarion McGowan (8th grade)
  • “Thomas Jefferson” – Avery Enseleit (6th grade)
  • “Johnathan Dayton” – Carson Cusick (7th grade)
  • “On the Line” – Claire Goeke (7th grade)
  • “In Hamilton’s Eyes” – Lexie Sheik (6th grade)
  • “Washington’s Inner Monologue” – Mackenzie Duff (10th grade)


Student poets, writers, rhymers, and rappers! Dayton Live is challenging you to be inspired by HAMILTON and create your own performance from a founding father’s perspective!

Write your own spoken word poem, rap, or song from the viewpoint of a founding father that focuses on a specific founding father’s ideals or showcases a historical moment during the time of the American Revolution, but in your modern voice. Then, share a video of you performing your piece with us!

Eight of you will be selected to win tickets to see HAMILTON at the Schuster Center in Dayton and a chance to perform your piece in the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden!

The Details:

  • Students in 6th-12th grade in Ohio’s Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, or Warren counties create their own original spoken word poem, rap or song from the viewpoint of a founding father. If the student is under 18 years old, permission from parent(s) or guardian is required.
  • The student’s original piece should focus on a specific founding father’s ideals or showcase a historical moment during the time of the American Revolution.
  • This piece should not be longer than two (2) minutes.
  • Students should record their performance of their original piece and post it to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
  • Students should share the link to the video on the form below. (Make sure the video is set so we can see it!)
  • Eight (8) winners will be selected from the submissions and invited to perform their piece in the Schuster Center lobby on Thursday, January 27, 2022.
  • Each of the eight (8) winning submissions will also receive two (2) tickets to see the 8 p.m. performance of HAMILTON that night as well as a customized swag bag.
  • Click here to read the complete contest rules (PDF).

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