808 Urban is a collective of community cultural workers: artists, organizers and volunteers committed to improving the quality of life for our communities through arts programming.  In all of our work, we strive to integrate the highest levels of artistic innovation with grassroots cultural organizing for systemic, progressive social change.


808 Urban started off as a backyard project six years ago by the graffiti artist John “Prime” Hina who recognized the value of mentoring at-risk youth through urban arts and cultural education. Since then, 808 Urban has grown into a respected local community arts organization, while “staying true to the streets.”  Since 2006, 808 Urban has created over 50 large-scale mural projects throughout Hawai’i, offered over a hundred free arts workshops, collaborated with dozens of local organizations and businesses, and has recently opened a new store and community arts hub called The Refuge


With the many recent budget cuts that have led to a rising number of Hawai’i’s schools cutting their arts departments and the increasing economic division, particularly effecting Native Hawaiian and immigrant communities, 808 Urban has been faced with an imperative responsibility to step up our local support by expanding our free arts and mentorship programming. We believe that through mentoring youth in the urban arts, based upon a platform of cultural and political education, grassroots community organizing, entrepreneurial skill sets, and community muralism rooted in graffiti, 808 Urban plays a vital role within shaping Hawai’i’s up and coming leaders with four main branches of arts programming:

THE REFUGE -  808 Urban’s community arts hub and store for FREE ongoing workshops, lectures, events, and everyday gathering.  Come visit us in the Kaka’ako District at 683 Auahi St., Honolulu, HI 9681311am – 7pm, Monday through Saturday.

COMMISSION A COMMUNITY MURAL - Providing large-scale community murals throughout Hawaii since 2006.

JUNIOR BOARD INITIATIVE- Comprehensive mentorship program focusing on a movement to unite our youth, while inspiring Hawaii’s next leaders to mobilize and govern action toward improving the quality of life within their own communities.

HI STORY - 808 Urban’s outlet for community arts events and outreach workshops in the urban arts.



John is a product of the housing projects, having been a well-known graffiti and gang tagger who got into trouble with violence and drugs. Since the late 1980’s, Prime has become a successful community worker, business and family man. In turning his life around, John has found a highly effective way of steering youth from the dangers inherent in growing up in at-risk neighborhoods, and turning them into community-minded artists and cultural workers. His unique method of youth development is rooted in the art of graffiti muralism, a visual vocabulary of the streets that he has harnessed as a cultural tool for positive social change. John has created over 50 public murals and coordinated numerous public arts events on O’ahu in the past 8 years. These efforts have spearheaded the creation of 808 Urban. Check out Prime’s Portfolio


2 Responses

  1. Scott Waterloo
    Scott Waterloo July 18, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Reply

    Aloha John,
    My name is Scott Waterloo co/owner of The Gym Maui. I was writing you because i am a fan of the art work i saw depicting the warriors on Oahu.We have been looking for an artist to help us help with a project here in our new gym. The Gym Maui is a locally owned and operated gym and we are always looking to help the community with different projects as well as promote our gym as a place that the local youth can workout and have guidance to lead a healthier lifestyle. The project we were having some trouble putting together was a graffiti contest we would like to hold here at our gym. We have 4 large bay doors on the inside of our gym that we would like to hold a yearly contest on with cash and membership prizes for the best door.The theme of our gym is a warehouse so the graffiti will tie in great and give the local youth a chance to showcase their talent.We would love to work with you to guide the youth on this project.You can check out our facility on facebook to see what type of business we are.Looking forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you in the future.
    Scott Waterloo

  2. George Nitta
    George Nitta October 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Reply

    A lady came by my shop the other day and we got into talking about

    drag racing for the kids of Oahu but there is no race track here so I said that I would get Kauai’ group to let the kids of Oahu be able to go to Kauai and drive their Jr Dragsters. If you know of any kids that want to drive let me know

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