National Hip Hop exhibit coming to Arkansas in April

National Hip Hop exhibit coming to Arkansas in April

BCN Staff – March 6, 2022 – Hip Hop is coming to Little Rock. No really, it is!

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) will open “And the Beat Don’t Stop: 50 Years of Hip-Hop,” a traveling exhibit from the National Hip-Hop Museum’s Pop-Up Experience with a free event on April 7.

Based in Washington, D.C., the National Hip-Hop Museum is the nation’s leading organization in Hip-Hop preservation, history and education. The museum’s traveling Pop-Up Experience showcases one of the largest collection of Hip-Hop artifacts and memorabilia in the nation

 “We’re proud to have this nationally recognized exhibit in Arkansas,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “This collaboration with the National Hip-Hop Museum of Washington, DC, brings 50 years of hip-hop together with fun and educational events that will run through our celebration of Juneteenth at Mosaic Templars.”   

The grand opening event in early April will feature dueling DJs, a 360-degree photo booth and break dancing as well as light refreshments. “And the Beat Don’t Stop: 50 Years of Hip-Hop” will run between April 7 and July 1, during which time MTCC will present a series of special events based on the exhibit.    

National Hip Hop Museuam’s traveling exhibit schedules summer stop at Little Rock’s Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

“This is a multi-generational experience,” Arkansas Heritage Director Jimmy Bryant said. “There is something for everyone, from parents who remember their teens listening to this music to new parents who want to share it with their children.” 

“While the music and the artifacts are a big draw, we always keep in mind that we are here to educate the community and what a wonderful way to take some not-so-distant history and unpack it a bit and show the cultural connections to today,” said Quantia “Key” Fletcher, director of the museum. “For many of us, hip-hop has been part of our entire consciousness and has impacted our lives from music and fashion to art and culture. It has been the voice of the marginalized populations and offered a mic oftentimes in hallowed spaces.”  

While programming is still in the planning phases, MTCC is looking for partners to help with events such as: 

  • Saturdays with the MCs (April to June) – kid-friendly performances by local emcees showing off skills and talents   
  • MTCC After Dark, an ongoing networking series (April) – adult-only evening event that encourages attendees to wear their favorite hip-hop-inspired sneakers  
  • Chat and Chew, the museum’s hybrid virtual/in-person lunchtime event (April) – will feature a music influencer  
  • Custom Sneakers (May) – a limited number of spaces available for an adult’s class where attendees will learn how to customize sneakers 
  • Young Adult’s Rap 101 Workshop with the Arkansas Arts Council (May) – a workshop for ages 7-13 that showcases poetry as the root of rap 
  • Juneteenth (June) – there will be a lineup of artists announced for the Juneteenth concert series  
  • Graffiti Artists in collaboration with the Arkansas Arts Council (June) – see a graffiti artist at work during an exhibition 

Those interested in working with the museum on programming should contact Community Liaison Brian Rodgers at brian.rodgers@arkansas.gov or call 501.683.3636. Events will be posted at ArkansasHeritage.com under Events or on the MTCC Facebook page as they become available.  To schedule group tours of this exhibit, please contact Education Assistant Mikahla Crawford at mikahla.crawford@arkansas.gov or 501.683.3610. 

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