808 Urban



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 100 large-scale mural projects throughout the Hawaiian Islands and around the world. 808 Urban have also offered over a hundred free arts workshops, collaborated with dozens of local organizations and businesses


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:

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

12 Responses

  1. Leighton
    Leighton at · Reply

    I just wanted to say I like what John and the whole organization is doing for hawaii’s youth and society. I personally love graffiti art and I wish I stuck with it since high school. Keep the art coming! Great Job guys!!!

  2. badge mariage
    badge mariage at · Reply

    I do agree with all the concepts you have offered on your post.
    They’re very convincing and can certainly
    work. Still, the posts are too short for beginners. May you please extend them a
    bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  3. Michele Smith
    Michele Smith at · Reply

    Hi! My name is Michele Smith and I am an Acadmic Coach at Waianae Elementary School. I have been following you on Instagram and have always been so amazed at the art work your organization creates. Also the fact that the community/children are involved is terrific and is why I am getting in contact with you. We here at Waianae Elementary School would love to collaborate with you have your art work here for the Waianae students and families to enjoy and enrich our community. Please give me a call if this is a project that you’d like to work on. Mahalo-Michele Smith (808) 497-3593

  4. dylan
    dylan at · Reply

    Do you guys teach people how to draw that are not experience at all

  5. Rabbett
    Rabbett at · Reply

    I just wanted to let you know I was knocked out by your new Mural in Waimanalo!

    I got so excited I stopped and almost got stuck in the mud in front of jack in the box.

    The work is wonderful and I hope everyone leaves it alone.

    All the best!


  6. Mishel Narvaez
    Mishel Narvaez at · Reply

    This organization is inspiring!! Hope we can collaborate & create more unique mural designs here soon!! Keep up the wonderful work
    Aloha Nui Loa
    Mishel Narvaez
    Lead Muralist-ProjectWALL Jamaica

  7. Chris Yano
    Chris Yano at · Reply

    This is Christine Yano from UH (and the radio talk show host in past years). Would you like to come talk to my class on some of your work? It’s a class on consumer cultures and we’re talking about “street”. Would absolutely love to have you!! Please email back. cryano@hawaii.edu

    Date: 4/12 12-1:15, but other dates also possible

  8. Marilou Fernandez
    Marilou Fernandez at · Reply

    Aloha, My name is Marilou Fernandez. I am a nurse manager at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
    We will be celebrating Nurses week May 9th-13th.This will be an emotionally filled week of events as MMMC will transition to Kaiser July 1,2016. In an attempt to link an end of an era, we are hopeing to go BIG with something emotional, as well as tangible. Your fantastic murals sparked excitment at the thought of an art documentation of our MMMC community and Historical Timeline! (1884 to present)
    I am humbly ask for your help in creating a mural here at MMMC

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