The Washington D.C.-based performing arts institution introduced the world to its new Hip Hop Culture Council via a video yesterday (March 6). The council will work with Q-Tip, the center’s first-ever artistic director for hip hop culture, to “create new pathways and deepen public knowledge of hip hop” through its slate of cultural events and resources.
“We selected people who thrive for excellence, have achieved excellence and who desire it not just for themselves, but for people at large,” Q-Tip explained in the above video. “It’s just a must to have that, especially when we’re in this creative realm of trying to put together great programming in an esteemed house like The Kennedy Center.”
The inaugural council features a variety of artists, writers and thought leaders with decades of experience in the culture. Members include media executives Kierna Mayo and Mimi Valdés, scholar Jason King, and musicians MC Lyte, Questlove and Grandmaster Caz.
The council will build on a growing event calendar for this spring, which Q-Tip addressed in the video. The Kennedy Center will celebrate the 35th anniversary of “Wild Style,” one of the first narrative feature films to incorporate hip hop themes, with a screening and panel on March 16. It will also host a premiere screening of “Rock Rubber 45s,” a documentary about basketball and sneaker culture by council member Robert “Bobbito” Garcia, on June 22.