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Tip: At the Center of it all.

KENNEDY CENTER TIPS ITS HAT TO HIP HOP CULTURE

Names A Tribe Called Quest Founder Q-Tip Artistic Director

Coming off a historic set of performances with Kendrick Lamar and the NSO Pops last October, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has moved an entire culture forward by announcing the launch of its inaugural Hip Hop Culture series in the 2016–2017 season and appointing A Tribe Called Quest founder Q-Tip as their very first Artistic Director of Hip Hop Culture. 

"The history of Hip Hop and its development as an art form, and the complexity and importance of its impact on the arts landscape driving social and cultural awareness, has inspired us to have a more formal connection with our ongoing programming," said Deborah F. Rutter, President of the JFK Center, "by launching this series, we strive to spotlight these powerful traits through each program and to make them part of the Kennedy Center fabric as we look into the future.”

The series will focus on Hip Hop’s contributions to global culture and its role in promoting values such as courage, freedom, justice, and service—and the power to transform communities through art and action, principles that are part of the Center’s John F. Kennedy Centennial Celebration.

“With Hip Hop constantly changing and evolving, it is easy to forget the history and legacy that precede it,” stated Q-Tip. “I want to begin at the beginning of the Culture to help people see its roots, better understand its present, and responsibly create its future.”  

Initial programs include the poetry slam Brave New Voices Youth Summit, a session on the art of the remix called All the Way Live!, the Words, Beats & Life Teach-In; training for individuals wanting to develop curriculum based on the culture of Hip Hop, and DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation.

In addition to Q-Tip’s appointment, a key part of this new venture is the Kennedy Center’s formal partnership with Hi-ARTS, a leading organization within the urban arts movement that develops and produces new works of performance and visual art. 

 

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