Rapper Q-Tip, best known for being a member of A Tribe Called Quest, was appointed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as the inaugural Artistic Director for Hip-Hop Culture. Q is a well-known creative and rose to fame by fusing hip-hop and jazz together. A statement from the Kennedy Center said:
“An active member of Universal Zulu Nation, the first Hip Hop organization which was founded in the 1970s by Afrika Bambaataa, Q-Tip embodies the multifaceted nature of the culture with a history of seminal work and longstanding relevance in the community.”
Deborah F. Rutter, Kennedy Center President said:
“We are proud and excited to be incorporating Hip Hop Culture into our artistic and educational programs during the 2016–2017 season. In our role as a national cultural institution, we feel it is vital to recognize all of the performing arts in our programming. 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. 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.”
Another important aspect of this exciting news is the Kennedy Center’s partnership with Hi-ARTS, a “leading organization within the urban arts movement that develops and produces new works of performance and visual art.”
The Producing Artistic Director of Hi-ARTS, Kamilah Forbes went on to say a few words as well:
“Hi-ARTS is excited about continuing our innovative work around Hip Hop and the urban arts at the Kennedy Center. We look forward to working with the nation’s center for the performing arts and its newly appointed Artistic Director for Hip Hop Culture on this transformative series.”
And what does Q himself have to say about this honor at the historic performing arts center?
“With Hip Hop constantly changing and evolving, it is easy to forget the history and legacy that precede it. 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.”
Congrats to Q-Tip!!!!