Festival Partners

Word Beats & Life

We are unapologetic advocates for the transformative power of hip-hop culture in all its forms, empowering artists to relentlessly create and refine systems that demonstrate positive change through our individual and collective brilliance. We embrace the sacred nature of our work and our roles as keepers and innovators of our culture.


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Kennedy Center is the nation's busiest performing arts center, hosting approximately 3,000 events each year for audiences numbering more than 2 million. Since 1971, we have been bringing the world to Washington with magnificent performances of music, dance, theater, and more.

Split This Rock

Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. It calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets. Building the audience for poetry of provocation and witness from our home in the nation’s capital, we celebrate poetic diversity and the transformative power of the imagination.

Split This Rock explores and celebrates the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for change: reaching across differences, considering personal and social responsibility, asserting the centrality of the right to free speech, bearing witness to the diversity and complexity of human experience through language, imagining a better world.

Split This Rock is dedicated to revitalizing poetry as a living, breathing art form with profound relevance in our daily lives and struggles. Our programs integrate poetry of provocation and witness into movements for social justice and support the poets of all ages who write and perform this vital work.

The name "Split This Rock" is pulled from a line in “Big Buddy,” a poem from Langston Hughes.

Don’t you hear this hammer ring?
I’m gonna split this rock
And split it wide!
When I split this rock,
Stand by my side.

The work of writing the poems that split open the injustices in society is in some ways a solitary act, but it is also an act that requires community. Split This Rock calls all of us to split this rock, and to do it together.

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Hi-ARTS

Hi-ARTS (formerly known as the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) is a leading organization within the urban arts movement. For fifteen years, Hi-ARTS has consistently broken new ground, advancing urban art by empowering artists to develop bold new works, while creating a lasting and positive impact on urban communities. Hi-ARTS is adding to the legacy of the HHTF at an exciting stage of growth that engages Hip-Hop while creating the new urban arts. With the move to our new home at PS 109, Hi-ARTS is poised to grow into new realms of artistic creativity, advocacy and service to the arts and the communities in which we live.


Events

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Hi-ARTS' DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival present Sucka Emcee originally presented by Labyrinth Theater

Date: Tuesday, July 12 and Wednesday, July 13th
Time: 7:00pm
Location: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: Family Theater

Written & Performed by Craig ‘muMs’ Grant
Directed by Jenny Koons

Infused with hip-hop, slam poetry and personal recollections, this one-man show charts the ups and downs of muMs’ incredible journey, from growing up in the Bronx to starring on one of HBO’s biggest shows. A life set against the backdrop of the birth of hip-hop, this is the story of a man looking for his spotlight and finding it in the most unlikely of places.

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Busboys and Poets

Busboys and Poets Tribal Statement
Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted...a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul...a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide...we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.

About Busboys and Poets
Busboys and Poets is a community gathering place. First established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was created by owner Anas "Andy" Shallal, an Iraqi-American artist, activist and restaurateur. After opening the flagship location at 14th and V Streets, NW (Washington, DC), the neighboring residents and the progressive community embraced Busboys, especially activists opposed to the Iraq War. Busboys and Poets is now located in six distinctive neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan area and is a community resource for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers.

Brave New Voices

Brave New Voices