Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free Hip-Hop Theater Festival Returns Featuring Grammy Winner Lupe Fiasco

An Increase in Performances by Local Talent And Family Friendly Programming

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is pleased to present the DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival, beginning on Monday, July 6, 2009. Highlights for this year include a deeper level of engagement with local artists through a residency program with Amsterdam based choreographer Nita Liam and the addition of a family friendly play taking stage at THEARC Theater in Southeast, a new venue for the festival.

Opening the weeklong list of activities and performances is the AM Radio Live Art and Performance in association with ART UNPLUGGED at 7 p.m. at The Library Saloon, located at 3514 12th St., NE. Events also expected to draw large crowds are “The Voices Remix: A People’s History of the United States” with Lupe Fiasco, Michael Ealy, Walter Mosley, Regie Cabico and W. Ellington Felton as well as “Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth”, the first family friendly program to be included as part of the Festival.

Each year, in addition to the various performances, the Festival also incorporates educational components and a forum for District residents and visitors to engage in dialogue that addresses relevant issues affecting the Hip-Hop generation. This year’s topic is A Conversation on the Power of Hip-Hop Arts and Culture to Create Change. The discussion will take place on Wednesday, July 8 at noon in the Flashpoint Mead Theater Lab, located at 916 G St., NW.

As with all Commission events, the Festival programs and performances are free and open to the public. Performances will take place at a variety of venues throughout the city including Children’s Hospital, Studio Theater, Dance Place, the Flashpoint Mead Theater Lab, THEARC Theater and the Kennedy Center Terrace Stage.

Founded in 2000, The Hip-Hop Theater Festival continues to invigorate the fields of theater and Hip-Hop by nurturing the creation of innovative work within the Hip-Hop aesthetic; presenting and touring American and international artists whose work addresses the issues relevant to the Hip-Hop generation; and serving young, urban communities through outreach and education that celebrates contemporary language and culture.

In addition to offering the annual Hip-Hop Theater Festival, the Commission is committed to reaching the District’s arts community to assist in the growth and preservation of Hip-Hop by offering the Hip-Hop Community Arts Initiative, a grant program offering funding for quality Hip-Hop arts activities throughout the city. Grant recipients are invited to submit their funded work to the Hip-Hop Theater Festival.

Full Festival schedule can be found at www.hhtf.org. For more information on the Hip-Hop Theater Festival and The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, visit dcarts.dc.gov or call 202/724-5613.

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