One Mic: Hip Hop Culture Worldwide Festival Kicks Off With a Bang cuejas March 26, 2014 feature, Hip Hop Community News The One Mic:Hip Hop Culture Worldwide Festival started yesterday at the Kennedy Center in D.C. and it kicked off with a total bang! The festival started out with Creative Ecosystem: Hip-Hop in the Pocket (Go-Go & Hip-Hop) which was a show about Go-Go & Hip-Hop music and how they intertwine. People loved the show and had an amazing experience. But the festival doesn’t stop there! The festival is taking place up until April 13th and will feature many exhibitions, spoken word shows and plenty of musical performances including performances by Nas in honor of the 20th anniversary of his album, Illmatic. Check out the schedule for the rest of the festival after the jump and if your interested in attending the festival, you can purchase tickets to the events here. Hip-Hop Culture at it’s best! MUSIC NSO Pops: Illmatic with Nas March 28-29, Concert Hall 8 p.m., $20-$95 Hip-hop icon Nas teams up with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his critically acclaimed debut album, Illmatic. Stories straight out of Queensbridge, New York come together with newly commissioned orchestrations by Tim Davies and Derrick Hodge for a symphonic reimagining of this hip-hop classic. NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads the orchestra. This program contains mature themes and strong language. Revive Big Band April 5, KC Jazz Club 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $20 With a contemporary groove housed in a traditional jazz context, New York’s Revive Big Band blends original works flavored with hip-hop, R&B, and sampled jazz recordings. Led by trumpeter Igmar Thomas, the group brings the grand, rich sound of a fully arranged band into the 21st century, with surprisingly swinging results. Creative Ecosystem: Hip-Hop in the Pocket (Go-Go and Hip-Hop) March 25, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE This show is a celebration of the artistic kinship and creative exchange between two musical “play cousins”: go-go and hip-hop. Rhome “DJ Stylus” Anderson and Pure Perfection Band and Show engage in a call-and-response that explores how both forms have influenced each other and contemporary American music over the past several decades. This musical storytelling session is rounded out by host/singer Nea Posey and videographer Tewodross Melchishua and was produced by Nzinga Tull. Nomadic Wax: Native Sun March 27, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE London-based duo Native Sun consists of bilingual rapper Mohammed Yahya, born in Mozambique, and London-born singer-songwriter Sarina Leah, with Caribbean roots. Joining forces in 2010, Native Sun fuses hip-hop and African rhythms with the aim of promoting a positive message of universal peace, equality, social justice, and environmental change. The duo’s sweet melodies fuse addictive, head-bouncing hip-hop undertones, conscious bilingual lyrics, and catchy hooks perfect for a climate in need of an uplifting message. Nomadic Wax: Dynamic Duo March 28, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE Choiza and Gaeko are Korean hip-hop group Dynamic Duo, the main representative artists for urban music label Amoeba Culture. Their debut album, Taxi Driver (2004), was the best-selling hip-hop album in South Korea, while their second album, Double Dynamite, won them “Best Hip-Hop Album” in the Korean Music Awards in 2006. Shokanti March 29, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE Blending the rhythms and soul of Cabo Verde, Africa, with hip-hop, Shokanti approaches the mic with a unique expression of hip-hop, theater, and social consciousness. Raised in Cabo Verde, he uses the language of kriolu and his music to paint stories of the past, present, and future, and theater to enact a visual and lyrical representation of reality. Nomadic Wax: Las Krudas (Cuba)/KEUR-GUI (Senegal) March 30, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE Millennium Stage presents a double bill including Las Krudas, a female duo of hip-hop MCs, musicians, poets, and theater performers born and raised in Cuba who work to fight against oppression and to celebrate life. Joining Las Krudas is KEUR-GUI, hip-hop musicians from Senegal whose music and performance speaks out against bad governance and regime corruption in their home country. This program contains mature themes and strong language. Berklee College of Music Mix Maestros March 31, 2014 6 p.m., FREE The Berklee College of Music Mix Maestros are participants in a course at Berklee College of Music dedicated to the dissection and reconstruction of prerecorded-music, using turntables and a mixer as their operating table. With one foot in the past from old records and one foot in the future with the ensemble’s live interpretations, the Mix Maestros build a show drawing from all genres at any given moment. The performance features: Raydar Ellis, MC and turntable; Jason Dawson, turntable; Stephen Carroll, turntable and drums; Luke Goh, turntable and piano; Sam Millinazzo, turntable and guitar; and Nullin Hassan, turntable and flute. Nomadic Wax: Black Noise (South Africa) April 1, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE Hailing from Cape Town as the oldest active hip-hop crew in South Africa, Black Noise is credited as the pioneering group of the “conscious” hip-hop movement of the late ’80s and early ’90s. This program contains mature themes and strong language. Creative Ecosystem: I Am: DC Youth’s Hip-Hop Vision April 2, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE The Creative Ecosystem hosts this open mic and community discussion featuring The DC Youth Slam Team and DC area youth winners from competitions that occurred throughout the city prior to One Mic. Creative Ecosystem: Liner Notes curated by B-FLY, in partnership with Atlas April 3, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE Remember the booklet that came with your music vinyl, CD, or cassette? Where you could discover influential genres and personal statements of artistic expression? In the age of digital downloads, collide with hip-hop’s past and present when dynamic performer/lyricists Paige Hernandez, Baye Harrell, and jazz vocalist Akua Allrich join the The Corner Store Jazz Trio for a unique multimedia experience. This event is curated by B-FLY Entertainment in partnership with the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Please join us for a short post-show discussion immediately following the performance. Black Girls Rock! Presents Rock! Like a GirlTM featuring MC Lyte, Jean Grae, Miri Ben-Ari, Ana Tijoux, Be’la Dona, and DJ Beverly Bond April 5, Concert Hall 6 p.m., FREE The multi-talented visionary, DJ, founder, and CEO of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Beverly Bond collaborates with the Kennedy Center to present Rock Like a GirlTM, a signature BOND-VISION MEDIATM production that celebrates women’s contributions to the art and culture of hip-hop. The program includes performances by a diverse group of female artists from around the world, including legendary rap artist MC Lyte, critically acclaimed lyricist Jean Grae, Grammy Award®–winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari, French Chilean MC Ana Tijoux, and other special guests! D.C.’s own all-girl go-go band, Be’la Dona, serves as the house band with DJ Beverly Bond on the ones-and-twos. Together, these women show what it means to “rock like a girl.” Free tickets will be distributed two (2) per person in line on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in the Hall of Nations, beginning at 5 p.m. Grandmaster Flash with Jahsonic April 5, U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St., NW 10 p.m., $15 – FREE before 11 p.m. for 21+ Grandmaster Flash is credited with being the first DJ to physically lay his hands on vinyl and “scratch” it, when at the time, DJs would let the tone arm of the turntable guide the way. In addition to scratching, Flash sparked and nourished the trend of the “emcee” and from there formed the famed hip-hop group, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The group went platinum with their 1982 single “The Message” and their series of productions throughout the ‘80s introduced DJing to a larger audience than it had ever known. In addition to becoming the first DJ to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Flash has been the recipient of several awards; including the VH1 Hip-Hip Honors, the BET Icon Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the RIAA, and Bill Gates’ Vanguard Award. Nomadic Wax: Nomadic Massive April 6, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE Nomadic Massive comes to the Millennium Stage from Montreal, Canada where they are known as a multi-lingual, multi-cultural group of performers and skilled musicians who create open- minded hip-hop inspired by traditions of the past, most notably live instrumentation and a wide range of vocal styles. Please join us for a short post-show discussion immediately following the performance. This program contains mature themes and strong language. Nomadic Wax: Narcicyst April 8, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE Iraqi Canadian musician, actor, multimedia artist, and activist Narcicyst has shared his work worldwide, blending traditional Arab sounds with hip-hop. He has performed across the Middle East, Europe, and North America, sharing the stage with hip-hop’s elite and rocking festivals, classrooms, and cinema screens worldwide. Faith, Hip-Hop, and the Common Good Featuring Talib Kweli April 9, Eisenhower Theater 6 p.m., FREE This concert, presented in cooperation with Georgetown University as part of their Faith, Culture, and the Common Good initiative, features artists of diverse faiths—MCs Jin, Poetic Pilgrimage, AmKoullel, and Mandeep Sethi and DJ Boo—in a performance showcasing interreligious diversity and tolerance through the hip-hop lens. Free tickets will be distributed two (2) per person in line on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in the Hall of States, beginning at 5 p.m. Please join us for a short post-show discussion immediately following the performance. Creative Ecosystem: A Hip-Hop Fusion Drum Call April 13, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE The Drum call showcases the international roots of hip hop music from the traditional drum to contemporary electronic rhythm machines, via collaborations and solo creations from drummer Kiran Gandhi (M.I.A., Thievery Corporation), all-female percussion group Batala and noted beatmakers Asma Maroof, Hezekiah, Trakgirl, and Arsonal. THEATER Marc Bamuthi Joseph: red, black and Green: a blues (rbGb) April 4-5, Terrace Theater 7:30 p.m., $20 Acclaimed dancer, spoken-word poet, playwright, and activist Marc Bamuthi Joseph brings his theatrical work red, black & GREEN: a blues (rbGb) to the Terrace Theater. Featuring Joseph as the primary narrator, this dance-theater work combines dance, poetry, music, and visual art to tell the story of the Life is Living festival, which has worked with neighborhoods in New York, Houston, Chicago, and Oakland to create an environmental arts festival that builds on social awareness to benefit all classes of people. Fresh Noise: A Mashup of Youth Voices—Game On! April 12-13, Family Theater April 12: 11 a.m., 1:30 & 5:30 p.m., April 13: 1:30 & 4 p.m., $20 When a young girl ends up inside a video game, she learns that virtual reality is no match for real life in this world premiere hip-hop theater work. Middle school students in Washington, D.C., have helped create this world premiere hip-hop theater work using their growing understanding of hip-hop culture and personal connections to the art form. Their imaginative stories and characters now come to life on stage through talented adult performers and hip-hop artists, including special guest appearances by DJ Reborn, Rokafella & Kwikstep, and DC Youth Poets. A world premiere Kennedy Center co-commission with Hi-ARTS, this presentation by the Kennedy Center’s Theater for Young Audiences program is written by Felice Belle and directed by Monica L. Williams. For age 8 and up. The KCACTF Hip-Hop Theater Creator Awards April 7, Atrium 6:00 p.m., FREE The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival presents a showcase of award-winning hip-hop theater works from colleges and universities around the country. DANCE Breaking Form: Global Urban Contemporary Dance April 6, Eisenhower Theater 8 p.m., $19-$50 Hosted by Jonzi D, hip-hop artist, educator, and Director of Breakin’ Convention in England, this showcase of hip-hop dance features gravity-defying and quick-fire moves by Project Soul Collective from South Korea, Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang from France, and Companhia Urbana de Dança from Brazil. The Project Soul Collective, also known as Project Korea, is an all-star cast and group made up of top Korean b-boys and artists first put together in 2002 by the Cartel Creative B-Boy Agency. Wang and Ramirez, the award-winning dance artists and choreographers, are known for their special blend of hip-hop and contemporary dance to create simply beautiful work—always in combination with music, fashion, and flow. Companhia Urbana de Dança Artistic Director Sonia Destri Lie discovered her passion for hip-hop and b- boying while working in Germany as a contemporary, classical ballet, and jazz instructor. Companhia Urbana is presented in cooperation with Dance Place. Jonzi D April 4, Millennium Stage 6:00 p.m., FREE Jonzi D, artistic director of Breakin’ Convention Hip-Hop Festival, has been actively involved in British hip-hop culture, rapping and b-boying, since its genesis in the early eighties. Since graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School, Jonzi has been committed to the development of hip hop theater, creating Lyrikal Fearta in 1995, and Aeroplane Man in 1999. He has performed and created dance theatre pieces all over the world. For One Mic, he offers his acclaimed solo hip-hop dance work The Letter, which explores the responses to him being offered an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Regional Dance Crews: FootworKINGz, NextLevelSquad April 10, Millennium Stage 6:00 p.m., FREE This presentation of two U.S. regional dance street crews showcases the hip-hop dance prowess of the FootworKINGz from Chicago and NextLevelSquad from Brooklyn. Regional Dance Crews: Da Originalz, Miss Prissy April 11, Millennium Stage 6:00 p.m., FREE This presentation of two U.S. regional dance street crews showcases the hip-hop dance prowess of Da Originalz from Washington, D.C. and the “Queen of Krump” Miss Prissy from Los Angeles. Words Beats & Life Presents Top Notch April 12, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE At 6 p.m., b-boys and b-girls demonstrate their skills in circles and give lessons. Competing for cash prizes, the dance battle’s preliminary rounds begin at 7 p.m. with the final rounds beginning at 8 p.m. The battle, hosted by Silver Spring, Maryland lyricist Trus Real and New York b-boy Kwikstep, includes judges such as hip-hop artist Narumi from Japan, DC area b-boy Toyz aRe Us, and pioneering New York b-girl Rokafella. Interested in competing? Registration is at the Kennedy Center in the Grand Foyer beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. SPOKEN WORD Creative Ecosystem: Split This Rock Poetry Festival March 26, Millennium Stage 6 p.m., FREE The Millennium Stage offers a hip-hop poetry program as part of the Split this Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2014, a four day event of poetry, community building, and creative transformation featuring readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, parties, and activism. The performance will feature poets Joy Harjo and Gayle Danley; Split This Rock staff members Sarah Browning, Pages Matam, Jonathan B. Tucker, Alisha Gregory, and Camisha Jones; and members of D.C. Youth Slam Team. Busboys and Poets Presents: Pass the Mic April 1, Busboys and Poets: 2021 14th St., NW 6 p.m., $5 Join Busboys and Poets as they celebrate the poetic legacy of hip-hop with a special performance and discussion with D.C. hip-hop artist and educator Asheru, showcasing the connection between hip-hop MCs and the poets from the American writing tradition, specifically Langston Hughes and others from the Harlem Renaissance. Hosted by Busboys and Poet’s Director of Poetry Events (D.o.P.E.) Bomani Armah, the event also features an online competition to find four rappers/writers (younger than 22) to perform a song at the event. The winners of the competition will receive two hours of studio time at Urban Intalek Studios and highlighted on DCplace.com. To attend or for more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org All City April 9, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library: 901 G St., NW 4:30-8 p.m., FREE All City is a youth showcase featuring artists from throughout the District and beyond performing, showcasing, and competing to showcase excellence. The event features student DJs, MCs, Poets, Dancers, Photographers, Graffiti Fine Artists, Fashion Designers, and Chess Players. An All Styles dance competition for D.C. youth called Chocolate City Funk will feature D.C. Funk, Go-Go, and Rap Music. CONVERSATIONS An Evening of Conversation with Nas and Michael Eric Dyson moderated by James Braxton Peterson March 27, Georgetown University Gaston Hall: 37th & O St, NW 8:30 p.m., FREE Released in the twilight of rap’s golden era, Illmatic is widely considered to be the greatest hip- hop album of all time and is frequently held as the yardstick by which all other contenders are measured. This discussion will reflect on Nas’ career, the impact of Illmatic, and the current state of hip-hop. Author, radio host, and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, whose many books address subjects from Dr. Martin Luther King to Hurricane Katrina, is also the editor of Born to Use Mics, a collection of scholarly essays observing Illmatic through a panoramic lens, with a roster of talented writers taking an all-encompassing snapshot of the making and meaning behind Nas’ ’94 opus. James Braxton Peterson is the Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University. He is also the founder of Hip Hop Scholars, LLC, an association of hip-hop generational scholars dedicated to researching and developing the cultural and educational potential of hip-hop, urban, and youth cultures. Young Lions and Lionesses: A Look at Jazz in a Hip-Hop World March 30, HR-57: 1007 H St., NE 6 p.m., FREE There’s a new generation of classically-trained jazz musicians who grew up on hip-hop and bring its elements into an often-seen pretentious arena. This panel will discuss the interconnectivity between jazz and hip-hop and whether or not the synergy between the two pushes musical boundaries. With jazz as its framework, the panel will explore what hip-hop might look like in another 20 years as panelists discuss sustainability, curating, and audience appreciation. Who Is the I?: Shifting the Hip-Hop Framework on Sexuality and Identity March 31, University of DC, Bldg 41, Rm A03: 4200 Connecticut Ave., NW 6 p.m., FREE Long-known for its heterosexual overtones, hip-hop in the 21st century is being challenged to come into a more realistic understanding of shifting sexual norms, specifically as it relates to heteronormativity, racial identity, and gender roles in hip-hop. How does the fan’s proximity to black masculinity enable or restrict her or his access to hip-hop culture? The discussion will explore the monuments and myths at the intersection of sex, race, and gender performance in hip-hop and discuss the hegemony, the alienation, and the fierce forms of expression that are emerging out of this space. The Influence of the Music Video April 1, The Goethe-Institut: 812 7th St., NW 7:30 p.m., FREE At its commercial peak, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, music and the music video simply gushed cash. Records were not just selling, but driving the industry to colossal heights. Videos were essentially another advertising channel for recorded music, supplied for free to music channels such as MTV. The quality of the music video literally determined the success of an artist, and today a video can potentially reach all corners of the globe, and for free. In this panel, the founding fathers of the hip-hop music video will talk about the past, present, and future of the music video. Power of the People: Youth, Media & Social Change Around the World April 2, Millennium Stage 7 p.m., FREE This multimedia presentation explores the intersection of hip-hop and social change and lays out the impacts that both informal and formal youth movements have had around the world. Using video examples, music, and interviews with artists, it reframes the dominant narrative about youth as a negative force and explores the potential for this music to bring peaceful change to countries of conflict. Presented by Nomadic Wax’s Ben Herson and Magee McIlvaine, who share a combined 20 years of experience researching, producing media, and developing international development programs with a focus on youth movements, music, and social change. Beware of the Dandelions: Creative Technology Sessions April 3-5, Anacostia Arts Center Gallery H: 1231 Good Hope Rd, SE 2 p.m. (April 3-4) and 1 p.m. (April 5), FREE During these sessions, Detroit-based artist collective Complex Movements—graphic designer/fine artist Wesley Taylor, music producer/filmmaker Waajeed, hip-hop lyricist/activist Invincible, and creative technologist Carlos (L05) Garcia—investigates special topics of inquiry related to the complex science principles embedded in the performance installation Beware of the Dandelions, an immersive environment built on the aesthetics of hip-hop. The topics include swarming, video projection mapping, and networks just to name a few. There is a series of work intensives on each subject: using, sensors, creative, creative coding, spacial graphics, and interactive design. Participants can observe the team and ask questions on the process. They may also be asked to help with testing technology, and have opportunities to provide hands-on support. The sessions can be experienced as a series or individually. An extensive technology background is not a requirement. These sessions are family friendly. Beware of the Dandelions: Connecting Social Movements, Creative Expression, and Science April 3, Honfleur Gallery: 1241 Good Hope Rd., SE 6:30 p.m., FREE This interactive workshop and dialogue examines the connections between complex science and social movements, with a particular focus on the application in Detroit-based local community organizing efforts and how these may be applicable to DC. During these sessions, Detroit artist collective Complex Movements—graphic designer/fine artist Wesley Taylor, music producer/filmmaker Waajeed, hip-hop lyricist/activist Invincible, and creative technologist Carlos (L05) Garcia—shares insights into its performance installation Beware of the Dandelions, an immersive environment built on the aesthetics of hip-hop that explores the relationship between art, music, science, and social justice movements. Community participants are invited to explore how concepts of complex science in nature and technology can be applied to the practice of counteracting systems of oppression and building visionary community-led movements. In the Producer’s Studio with the Low Budget Crew & Just Beats Listening Lounge April 3, Terrace Gallery 7:30 p.m., FREE For more than 10 years, the Low Budget Crew has represented DMV hip-hop. With production from members like Kev Brown, ODDISSEE, yU, and DJ Roddy Rod, the crew known for capturing that “PG County Sound” has become a household name in several independent hip-hop scenes around the world. In this special event, for the first time ever, members of the Low Budget Crew sit down together to discuss and demonstrate how they have created their sound over the years and what their collective creativity has contributed to the DMV’s hip-hop narrative. Following the discussion, join us for the Just Beats Listening Lounge, a gathering of people, under one roof, with a host, where we can all just listen to beats. By “Beats” we’re referring to hip-hop music without lyrics; or original, sonic narratives created by hip-hop music producers. It’s the place to be for hip-hop heads, and an authentic, safe space where people can learn more about hip-hop by participating in the culture. Free tickets will be distributed two (2) per person in line on Thursday, April 3 in the States Gallery, beginning at 7 p.m. Beware of the Dandelions: The What, Why, and How Q&A Session with Complex Movements April 4, Honfleur Gallery: 1241 Good Hope Rd., SE 5 p.m., FREE Detroit based artist collective Complex Movements discusses the development of their nationally recognized work Beware of the Dandelions. Complex Movements will share the exciting unexpected synchronicities and how they are managing the challenges of integrating technology, performance, and community organizing. By unpacking a multilayered artistic process, Complex Movements hopes to engage the D.C. community in a dialogue about the importance of strategy and process. Beware of the Dandelions: Exploring Ecosystems of Movement April 5, Honfleur Gallery: 1241 Good Hope Rd., SE 4 p.m., FREE D.C. area change-makers, artists, activists, organizers, and community members are invited to participate in a collective mapping of local community challenges and opportunities towards envisioning a more holistic and interconnected movement. Participants will test out interactive game elements of Complex Movements’ work in progress, Beware of the Dandelions, and have an opportunity to reflect on how art and culture and creativity can be woven into social justice and change-making in their communities and build strategies for resilience and justice. Beware of the Dandelions: Seeds of Resistance and Resilience April 6, Honfleur Gallery: 1241 Good Hope Rd., SE 2 p.m., FREE This workshop highlights several models of activism and community organizing that integrate hip-hop into their social justice work. Presenters from a variety of artistic, activist, and organizing backgrounds will creatively share their work, followed by critical reflection on the lessons, opportunities, challenges, and contradictions of the intersection of art and justice movements. Participants will have space to apply these frameworks to their own communities and projects. The State of the U: The Effects of Gentrification on D.C. Hip-Hop April 9, Millennium Stage 8 p.m., FREE In the late 1990s to early 2000s, the famed U Street, NW corridor was bustling with artistry of all kinds. There were venues like Mango’s Café, Bohemian Caverns, State of the Union, and Bar Nun which served as community spaces for artists and thinkers alike. Today, U Street, NW resembles many of the gentrified areas of DC and the once progressive and Black arts movements have been slowly pushed out, save for one or two venues. This panel will discuss the trickle down effects of gentrification on DC hip-hop specifically and the independent artist movement in general. What happens to culture when it is priced out? How do artists regroup when their meeting and performing spaces are taken or lost? What is the cultural price of gentrification? These questions and more will be the focus of discussion. Hip-Hop and Education: Teaching and Learning (The Remix) April 12, Atrium 3 p.m., FREE Hip-Hop culture has influenced multiple generations of academics and educators since the culture emerged from the streets of New York City in the 1970s. Now, today’s generation of Hip- Hop educators, scholars, and researchers are working to radically transform how young people learn and the very foundation of pedagogy itself. Join Sam Seidel, educator and author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education, and other leaders in the field as they discuss a Hip-Hop approach to learning and the potential benefits for the classroom and beyond. This is a FREE event, and tickets are required. Tickets will be distributed two (2) per person in line beginning at approximately 2:30 p.m., in the States Gallery. Tickets are General Admission. EXHIBITIONS Words Beats & Life Presents Graffiti Mural Exhibition March 24-April 13, Thai Orchid: 2314 Pennsylvania Ave SE FREE The Kennedy Center partners with Words Beats & Life to create a new mural at Thai Orchid in the first week of the festival. Beginning March 24, concrete alchemist Maxx Moses works with nine Words Beats & Life apprentice students for a week to produce this mural. This exhibition emphasizes how central public art is to the visual aesthetic of hip-hop culture and the role of the writers in showing the stories and communities of hip-hop. Words Beats & Life Presents Graffiti Jam April 6, 514-680 Rhode Island Ave, NE 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., FREE The Kennedy Center partners with Words Beats & Life to host a mural jam featuring the work of up to 70 graffiti writers, graffiti fine artists, street artists, and community youth on the retaining wall behind the property at 514-680 Rhode Island Ave., NE. Hailing from up and down the East Coast of the United States and a few from around the world, the artists are working on a 990-foot long “canvas,” resulting in one of the District’s largest pieces of public art. This is a daylong jam that features DJs and food available for purchase on-site.