10th Anniversary DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival Photo Recap

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Photos Margot MacDonald ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center’s Arts Education Network

Photos by Jati Lindsay for Hip-Hop Theater Festival

10th Anniversary Benefit Celebration

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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


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

10th Anniversary NYC Hip-Hop Theater Festival Highlights

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Celebrating 10 Years of Culture in Action

For ten years, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival has consistently broken new ground, elevating both Hip-Hop and Theater by empowering artists to develop bold new works, while creating a lasting and positive impact on urban communities. Join HHTF as we celebrate our Tenth Anniversary of Culture in Action.




10th NYC Festival

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September 25 –October 16, 2010

Join us to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival. This year, the festival runs from September 25 – October 16, and we’re excited to unveil a number of firsts for the Festival. Along with the vibrant collection of performances you’ve come to expect, we are presenting our first ever visual art commission and two premieres with two of New York’s leading arts organizations, the Dance Theater Workshop and HarlemStage.

For ten years, the Hip Hop Theater Festival has consistently broken new ground, elevating both Hip Hop and Theater by empowering artists to develop bold new works, while creating a lasting and positive impact on urban communities. Join HHTF as we celebrate our Tenth Anniversary of Culture in Action.

Sign up to our email list and stay tuned for a full schedule of performances and events. Tickets available starting September 7th, 2010

Download the HHTF 2010 Press Release


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Classical Theatre of Harlem, Inc, Presents
A Workshop Production of


A New Play
By Radha Blank
Directed by Niegel Smith

Burnt-out social worker Anne Colleen Simpson decides to write a book detailing the child welfare case that brought her acclaim. But when Chee-Chee, a gifted ten-year-old from the last “projects” in Anne’s gentrified neighborhood collides into her life, she is forced to confront the shadows of her past. As an unconventional friendship brews between Anne and Chee-Chee, his young mother Latonya becomes threatened, leading to an explosive encounter.

This compelling new drama presented by Classical Theater of Harlem, insightfully examines the class an cultural fault lines that exist in one of New York’s most prominent black communities.


Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Nikiya Mathis, Tremayne Rollins, Warner Miller, Pernell Walker

Vincent DeMarco: Production Manager
Sharika Niles: Stage Manager
Jenny Bennett: ASM
Tim Mackabee: Set/Scenic
Colin Young: Lighting Design
Kate Freer: Projection Design
Luqman Brown: Sound Designer
Emily DeAngelis: Costume Designer
Pam Traynor: Props

August 4 – August 19
Tuesday – Saturday @8p
Saturday – Sunday @2p

Harlem School of the Arts
645 Saint Nicholas Ave (@ 141st St)
directions: take the A,B,C, or D train to 145th Street.

(Talkbacks (TBA) will include discussions on Gentrification and The Foster/Penal Systems)

Go to
or call 212-352-3101
Tickets $40 – use code hhtf and receive 50% off.

Aug 3 – invited dress
Aug 4,5 preview

Group sales are available. ” 8+ ” tickets will be $17.50 per person / adults.
If there is a student group – all tickets (chaperone incl) are 50% off student
price ($20) with use of my code:

9th DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival RECAP

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Thank you to everyone who attended the Festival this year. From an amazing jump off at the Kennedy Center with DJ I-Dee and Rockin’ Rob crushing the classic 45 set, to Paige Hernandez, Micia Moseley and Universes incredible performances at the Studio Theatre, to Holly Bass’ special workshop production at Dance Place. HHTF celebrated new collaborations with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as old fallen friends with Munch, Talib Kweli and the whole DC Loves Dilla Fam. Be sure to join us next year.

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DC Hip Hop Theater Festival

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The Hip-Hop Theater Festival returns this summer to Washington DC.

Join us in celebrating the full breadth of Hip hop Culture LIVE & on stage!

9th Annual DC Hip Hop Theater Festival
Presented by DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities

Click here for a downloadable schedule.

DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the New York City Hip-Hop Theater Festival join forces again for the Annual DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival. This year, the 2010 Hip Hop Theater Festival comes to DC from July 5 – 9, 2010.

The summer of 2000 gave birth to the first New York City Hip-Hop Theater Festival (HHTF). It marked the first organized event showcasing the stories, people, music, dance, and word of Hip-Hop in one venue. That summer, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival brought together some of the finest actors, playwrights, b-boys and b-girls to narrate the stories of the Hip-Hop generation.

In its brief history, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival has expanded substantially from presenting two events in 80 and 150-seat theaters to 30 full-length productions and staged readings in multiple venues, and in various cities all around the country, including Washington, DC, San Francisco and Chicago.

Since its inception, The Hip-Hop Theater Festival has grown into one of the most influential outlets showcasing Hip-Hop performing arts in the country and has become an important contributor to the cultural life of participating Festival cities.

For more information, contact Lisa Richards Toney.

Run of Events for the 2010 Hip-Hop Theater Festival:

The Foundation: DMC DJ Exhibition
Curated by Christie Z Pabon, DMC North American Producer
6pm @ Kennedy Center Millenium Stage | 2700 F Street NW

4th Annual J Dilla Annual Benefit Concert
Produced by Munch for Groove Gumbo
10pm @ 930 Club | 815 V Street NW

Hip-Hop Humanities: A Day on Earth
Co-presented with The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
12-2pm @ Carmichael Auditorium, National Museum of American History | 14th & Constitution Ave NW

Paige in Full
Written and performed by Paige Hernandez
Directed by Danielle A. Drakes
7pm @ Studio Theater | 1501 14th Street NW

Ameriville: The “Sneak Peak”
Written and performed by Universes, directed by Chay Yew in special arrangement with the Roundhouse Theatre Company
9pm @ Studio Theater | 1501 14th Street NW

Where My Girlz At? A Comedia Look at Black Lesbian Communities
Written and Performed by Mica Mosely
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
9pm @ Studio Theater | 1501 14th Street NW

Late Night Comedy Cabaret (with a hint of hip-hop)
Hosted by Kibibi Dillon
10pm @ Busboys & Poets | 2021 14th Street NW

Keepin It Moving: The Legacy of Sandman Sims
Directed and choreographed by Holly Bass
A work Commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
7pm @ DancePlace | 3225 8th Street NE

The Freshest of All Time
Presented by Hip-Hop Theater Festival
A signature of event of Words Beats & Life
2pm-8pm @ Columbia Heights Youth Club | 1480 Girard Street NW

Keepin It Moving: The Legacy of Sandman Sims
Directed and choreographed by Holly Bass
A work Commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
7pm @ DancePlace | 3225 8th Street NE

DC Festival Closing Night Party
10pm-Midnight @ DancePlace | 3225 8th Street NE
For more info go to

Click here for a downloadable schedule.

BCAM’s Little Shop of Horrors Shows This Week Only!

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BCAM is presenting their first ever musical production, an adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors! Students and staff have worked tirelessly for three and a half months to produce something our community can be proud of!

Shows run Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (May 19th-May 21st) at 7:00, in the auditorium at the Francis Scott Key building (300 Willoughby Ave, 1st Floor). Tickets are only $2, so bring the Family!

(Above featured students)BCAM actors and actresses excitedly practice the performance to be ready for this week’s final performances.


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Kamilah Forbes directs Shontina Vernon in Wanted


storytelling and song

MAY 5, 7, 12, 15 at 7PM

MAY 8 at 2PM

Written and Performed by Shontina Vernon

Directed by Kamilah Forbes
70 minutes 

Arrested and locked up for writing hot checks, a ten-year-old Texan girl loses her way in a reality where even the adults themselves are lost. Shontina Vernon merges childhood stories with searing songs of fear and juvenile justice.

Purchase tickets at: Terra Nova Collective

On Facebook, RSVP & Share with a Friend

A Poetry Reading by Martín Espada – April 16, 2010

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La CURA del ENCANTO: The Cure of Enchantment
A Poetry Reading by Martín Espada

Followed by Yerbabuena’s electrifying Puerto Rican Soul Music

Friday, April 16, 2010 at 7:00pm
Miller Theatre 2960 Broadway at 116th Street
Tickets are $20 General Admission

For questions contact: Cyrus Boquin at

This unforgettable night celebrating poetry, music, advocacy and Boricua culture is brought to you by CoSMO, Columbia’s medical student-run free clinic for the uninsured.   All proceeds go toward prescription medications for CoSMO’s patients (www.

Martín Espada, “the Pablo Neruda of North American authors” is one of the premier poets of the Americas, born and raised in Brooklyn, NYC. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is now a professor of English Literature at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. See

Yerbabuena, under the musical direction of Tato Torres, is keeping Puerto Rico’s traditional music (música de raíz, bomba y plena) relevant, alive and con sabor in contemporary New York City for future generations to come. See

Co-Sponsored by  The President’s and Provost’s Student Event Fund, NewYork-Presbyterian  Hospital Ambulatory Care Network, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Dept. of Government & Community Affairs, Columbia University Medical Center Dept. of Government & Community Affairs, The Program in Narrative Medicine, Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University, The Acentos Foundation


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Love, Race, and Liberation Curriculum Guide , Edited by JLove Calderon and Marcella Runell Hall and Featuring Peggy McIntosh, Tim Wise, Suheir Hammad, Talib Kweli, Esther Armah, Pedro Noguera, Sofia Quintero, Sonia Sanchez and many more!


Announcing new Social Justice book!

“Love, Race and Liberation: ‘Til the White Day is Done”

NEW YORK, NY- Groundbreaking new book co-edited by JLove Calderón and Marcella Runell Hall with writers Piper Anderson, Tanesha Barnes, Andrea Dre Domingue, and Samantha Shapses Wertheim will be released on March 24, 2010.  Love, Race, and Liberation also features Love Letters for Liberation by Khalil Almustafa, Esther Armah, Hector Calderón, Richard Chavolla, Suheir Hammad, Ariel Luckey, Barbara Love, Peggy McIntosh, Pedro Noguera, Sofia Quintero, and Tim Wise and includes exclusive interviews from Danny Hoch, Talib Kweli and his father Dr. Perry Greene, M1 from Dead Prez, Sonia Sanchez, and MC Serch.

Dr. Cornel West of Princeton University describes the book by saying “Love, Race & Liberation is a grand tribute to the love of freedom and the courage to struggle for justice.  Don’t miss it!” “These political times call for new pathways and visions for supporting personal and collective empowerment for social justice. Love, Race and Liberation provides a hands-on and inspiring curriculum for use in classrooms and community settings. This promises to be a critical and practical resource for youth leaders, anti-racist educators, teachers, dialogue practitioners, and community activists interested in bridging racial divides through education, sustained dialogue and action,”

Ximena Zúñiga, Associate Professor of Social Justice Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst, co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge 2010) and co-author of Intergroup Dialogue: Meaningful Learning for Social Justice (Jossey Bass 2007).

About the curriculum guide: The title of this guide gives a nod to one of the greatest poets of the Twentieth Century. ‘Til the White Day is Done is a line from the 1926 poem Dream Variations by Langston Hughes. In the daytime universe of the poem the narrator dreams of flinging his arms wide in the face of the sun—an act of protest and resistance, of joy and celebration. ‘Til the White Day Is Done represents a commitment to end oppression in all forms- to eliminate the current “White Day.” White people are the world’s minority, yet white supremacy and racism are the scaffolding on which the American political and socioeconomic systems are built. This book adds the new millennium piece of making sure the important elements of love and liberation are included in all conversations about race. This book was conceived by educator-activists JLove Calderón and Marcella Runell Hall in an effort to put action steps behind anti-racist rhetoric, in a move toward being truly and unapologetically pro-liberation–for everyone.

Within the pages you will find love letters written to educators by some of the leading voices on contemporary issues of race and racism. There are also over twenty lesson plans, which range from the social construction of race, to the racialization of social media, to the prison industrial complex. This book is meant to catapult us to action, prompt dialogue, stimulate our minds and hearts, and provide educators with profound yet practical tools for creating social justice.

Book Release Wine & Cheese Reception will be held on March 24, 2010, 6-8 PM. Books will be available for sale. RSVP at

About the writers:

Piper Anderson is a community artist and educator whose performances and workshops have been used to catalyze action amongst audiences nationally.

Tanesha Barnes oversees campus-wide cultural and social justice programs at NYU and facilitates various social justice and diversity workshops.

Andrea Dre Domingue is an educator, writer, and consultant who specializes in social justice education and college student leadership development.

Samantha Shapses Wertheim is an educator and trainer committed to engaging students in social justice.

About the editors:

As an author, activist, and Certified Empowerment Facilitator, JLove Calderón has worked passionately on social justice, race, and gender issues for over 15 years. She has authored three books: We Got Issues! (New World Library, 2006) with Rha Goddess; That White Girl (Atria, 2007) that has been optioned for film; and Conscious Women Rock the Page: Using Hip-Hop Fiction to Incite Social Change(2008) with Marcella Runell Hall, E-Fierce and Black Artemis. As an activist and personal life coach, JLove has helped create practical models for living designed to empower people of all backgrounds. Her knowledge is informed by her years of working as a counselor in teen shelters, as well as teaching at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice for over a decade. Her current projects include producing progressive film, TV, books, and educational materials that inspire new dialogue and action on behalf of peace and social justice for all. JLove graduated Cum Laude from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Africana Studies and received her Master’s Degree in Education from Long Island University. For more information, please visit

Marcella Runell Hall is currently completing her doctoral studies in

the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Her dissertation is entitled: Education in a Hip-Hop Nation: Identity, Politics and

Pedagogy. Marcella has worked as a freelance writer for the New York Times Learning Network and VIBE magazine.  Marcella regularly presents her work at national conferences, colleges and universities and community-based events. Marcella  co-edited two books, The Hip-Hop Education Guidebook (2007) with Martha Diaz and Conscious Women Rock the Page: Using Hip-Hop Fiction to Incite Social Change (2008) with JLove, E-Fierce and Black Artemis. Additionally she has written many essays and articles, as well as a literacy book entitled Ten Most Influential Hip-Hop Artists (Scholastic 2008). She have received many awards for teaching and writing about social justice and diversity including the prestigious American Association of Colleges & University’s K. Patricia Cross Future Scholar Award and as well as a Racial Unity Citation from the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office. For more information please visit:


If you would like more information about the book including media requests please contact Bindi Patel at 212-998-4316 or

Ernie Silva Solo Show at La MaMa in the East Village

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Lastly, HHTF Alumni Ernie Silva, returns to his hometown, after doing some amazing work in LA with his autobiographical solo show at La MaMa in the East Village. We saw the show last week and this Brooklyn native sure has a story to tell!

Recap – HHTF’s Hip-Hop Humanities Series

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Thanks to everyone who joined us!

Click here to see photos from the event…


HHTF’s Hip-Hop Humanities Series:
A Conversation w/ Ken Swift & Joe Schloss, Ph.D.
Free & Open to the Public (Only 60 Seats)

Friday, March 12, 2010, NYC – Tisch School of the Arts
7:00pm – 9:00pm

As part of Hip-Hop Theater Festival’s Humanities Series, Joe Schloss Ph.D., will join the legendary Ken Swift in a conversation about aesthetics of Breaking and Rock (two distinct forms of Hip-Hop Dance), cultural history, the need for documentation and the absence of institutional support in preserving the heritage of New York’s Hip-Hop cultural legacy. Come join us for one of the many important conversations contributing to the growing body of discourse around these important forms of urban American culture. The respondent for the evening will be Imani Johnson, Ph.D., who is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Performance Studies at NYU.


Design by Photo: ©1981, Martha Cooper