Black Cultural Center announces Cultural Arts Series lineup

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Black Cultural Center announced its Cultural Arts Series programs for the Fall 2009 semester.

Rapper and educator, Will Power, will give a lecture and performance on September 29th as part of the Black Cultural Center's Fall 2009 Cultural Arts Series.

Rapper and educator, Will Power, will give a lecture and performance on September 29th as part of the Black Cultural Center's Fall 2009 Cultural Arts Series.

The series theme, Hip-Hop: A Social and Political Message of Black Identity, includes the Sept. 10 Rap Session – Community Dialogue on Race and Hip Hop,” followed on Sept. 29 by a lecture and performance by educator and rapper Will Power. During Homecoming weekend, the Black Cultural Center will celebrate its 40th anniversary, and on Nov. 11 the founder of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network will speak.

“Since the late 1970s, hip-hop culture has steadily gained intellectual creditability,” BCC director Renee A. Thomas said. “A unique feature of hip-hop is its ability to translate across cultural, ethnic, racial, generational and geographic boundaries. Hip-hop helps bridge the divide between the academy and the real world and inspires a growing body of scholarly discourse. The series will provide an opportunity to celebrate hip-hop contributions to American culture.”

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Upcoming events include:

  • Aug. 27 – The Black Cultural Center’s Annual Boilerfest New Student Orientation will be from 4-6 p.m. in the center’s parking lot, 1100 Third St. Boilerfest is a new student orientation festival that allows campus leaders and student organization members to gather in an informal setting. The event features a hip-hop DJ, B-Boy dancers and live entertainment by the BCC performing arts ensembles in a block party atmosphere.
  • Sept. 10 – “Rap Session – Community Dialogue on Race and Hip Hop” will begin at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. Leading hip-hop intellectuals, including Jabari Asim, Bakari Kitwana, Joan Morgan and others, will participate in an interactive town hall style meeting. Participants will explore how today’s popular culture, the impact of the generation gap and emerging trends in youth activism have all influenced our perceptions of race.
  • Sept. 19 – “Friends and Family Day – I AM HIP HOP!” will follow the Purdue football game against Northern Illinois. Participants will get an inside look at hip-hop culture. Afternoon activities will include break-dance instruction, children’s hip-hop story-hour activities and a film screening.
  • Sept. 29 – Will Power, a pioneer in the genre of hip-hop theater will present a lecture and performance that will fuse original music, rhymed language and dynamic choreography. The event begins at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall.
  • Oct. 2-4 – Homecoming 2009 activities with the Purdue Black Alumni Organization will include a welcome back reception, a red carpet world premiere film screening of “Black at Purdue,” tailgating and the BCC 40th anniversary celebration reception to honor BCC Pioneer and Legacy award winners. The weekend will conclude with a gospel brunch.
  • Oct. 9-12 – Student members of the center’s Performing Arts Ensembles will travel to New York City as part of a field research tour. Students will trace the history and influence of hip-hop in New York City and learn the four essential aesthetics of hip-hop culture: MC’ing, DJ’ing, graffiti and break dancing. Students also will explore museums, meet with hip-hop pioneers and participate in master class instruction by local hip-hop artists.
  • Oct. 23-24 – The Black Cultural Center Coffee House will be presented at 7 p.m. both nights at the center. The performing arts ensembles will present an artistic showcase highlighting information gathered from the New York City research tour.
  • Nov. 11 – Dr. Benjamin Chavis of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network will deliver a keynote address at 7 p.m. in Fowler Hall. The Hip Hop Summit Action Network is dedicated to harnessing the cultural relevance of hip-hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the empowerment of youth.
  • Nov. 17 – “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes” with filmmaker Byron Hurt will be at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. The documentary examines representations of gender roles in hip-hop and rap music. During the discussion with Hurt, issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip-hop culture will be explored.
  • Dec. 4 – The cultural center’s performing arts ensembles will present the annual Cultural Arts Festival at 7 p.m. in Loeb Playhouse. This year’s festival will culminate the semesterlong focus on hip-hop. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for Purdue students.

About the Black Cultural Center

Established at Purdue in 1969, the Black Cultural Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary this fall. The center is nationally recognized and acknowledged by the Association of Black Cultural Centers as one of the best university cultural centers in the nation. Thomas said the center helps Purdue students gain a greater understanding of African-American heritage and enhances cultural diversity on campus and in the community.

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