Celebrating Ten Years of Culture in Action
On Monday Dec 6th Hip-Hop Theater Festival held its 10th Anniversary Benefit Celebration at the Urban Zen Center at the Stephen Weiss Studio in New York City. To celebrate Ten Years of Culture in Action HHTF brought together our diverse community of artists and supporters to honor two seminal culture pioneers, Ntozake Shange and Enrique “Part One” Torres. The evening was an opportunity to acknowledge the aesthetic and creative influences that have brought us this far, as we we plan for the next decade of supporting Hip-Hop as a vibrant arts and culture movement. Click here to make a donation to support another year of Hip-Hop Theater Festival presenting and producing original work by some of the most provocative artists working today.
photos by Peter Monsanto & Robert Braunfeld
Hosted by: Sahr Ngaujah of FELA!
Special Performances by: Eisa Davis, Lemon Anderson, and MORE!!
Music by: Rich Medina
Honoring Cultural Pioneers: Ntozake Shange & Enrique “Part One” Torres
Awards Presenters: Roger Guenveur Smith, Alan Ket
For the last ten years we have come to represent much more than the words ‘theater’ and ‘festival’ can connote. HHTF demolishes the separation of audience and artist, spreading into classrooms, streets, and institutions all over the country. While remaining firmly rooted in the discipline of theater and the performing arts, the organization’s vision extends to creating lasting, positive impact on urban communities and under-served young people through the powerful contemporary voice of Hip-Hop Culture.
As part of the celebration Tony Award winning actress, Trazana Beverley joined us in honoring Ntozake Shange by reading from her seminal work. Ms. Beverley won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her role in the original Broadway production of For Colored Girls… !!! Nuyorican poet slam mistress Mahogany Browne performed original poems celebrating the life and legacy of Ntozoke Shange.
As part of our 10th Anniversary Benefit Celebration Hip-Hop Theater Festival honored two seminal cultural pioneers:
Ntozake Shange is an acclaimed poet, playwright and author. Her groundbreaking “choreo-poem” For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf, eloquently wove poetic monologues into a captivating performance that redefined the American theater, inspiring a generation of poets and storytellers to push the boundaries of form and rhythm.
“I wuz cold / I wuz burnin up / a child and endlessly weaving garments / for the moon with my tears / I found god in myself / and I loved her / I loved her fiercely”
Enrique “Part One” Torres is a true style writing master from the pioneering days, before Hip-Hop was even a word. Part entered the subway graffiti movement in 1974 just after the foundations for piecing had been laid down. From 1977 to 1980, few writers could compete with Part One and his TDS partners. 30 years later he has become recognized as a pioneering legend who’s unique style has made an indelible mark on Hip-Hop culture.
“You can’t mention the New York train movement without talking about Part One. He’s done it all the right way. Cool brother. Great writer.” FARGO
“Part’s style is official and original; a true master.” COPE2
What do these two artists have in common? They both inspired the generation of artists who followed them and those artists are represented under the roof of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Ntozake Shange and Part One rocked their respective worlds in the mid-to-late 1970s and changed their chosen crafts forever. So it’s only right that HHTF, which revels in keeping its feet in the worlds of both Hip-Hop and Theater, bring together and honor contemporaries who contributed to defining the programmatic scope of the organization.
Cyrus Boquin, Martha Diaz, MVMT, Jeannine Magno, Shawn Rhea, Zvi Rosenfeld Gabrielle Roth, Annabella Sciorra, Michael Skolnik, Carmelita Sanchez, Woody King, Jr., Lenise Logan, Radha Blank
HHTF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Darren Sussman, Chair; Jennifer Ortega, Secretary; Laura Hope Treasurer; Malik Yoba, Lev Gelfer, Rachel P. Goldstein, Lumumba Mosquera, Constance Mortell, Chris Nagy , Danny Hoch Founder