Event pays homage to “Beat Street,” iconic hip hop film featuring scenes shot at City College
The City College of New York’s Division of Interdisciplinary Studies hosts the fifth annual “Is Hip-Hop History?” Conference 5-10 p.m. Thursday, February 27 and Friday, February 28, at the Center for Worker Education (CWE), 7th Floor, 25 Broadway, Manhattan.
This year’s event pays homage to the iconic 1984 hip hop film “Beat Street,” which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The conference is also part of City College’s Black History Month festivities. Themed the “Return to Beat Street,” this year’s event is using the film for thoughtful reflection, in particular on the historical place of the female emcee.
“Thirty years ago, “Beat Street” made one of the first attempts to dramatize New York City hip hop culture,” said Warren Orange, an academic advisor in the division and conference co-founder. “Part of the movie was at filmed City College, which became one of the crossroads where academia was first introduced to hip hop. We thought it appropriate that “Beat Street” return to City College and a contemporary audience of scholars and hip hop enthusiasts.”
The conference will officially kick off with a screening of “Beat Street” at Aaron Davis Hall on City College’s main campus at W. 135th Street and Convent Avenue, 12 noon – 2 p.m. Thursday, February 27. Mr. Orange, who teaches a class on the History, Culture and Politics of Hip Hop, will host a Q&A session immediately following. The film screening is sponsored by Aaron Davis Hall and is free to students.
Then, the conference will head downtown to CWE, where MC Sha-Rock, the first female emcee and former member of the legendary rap group The Funky 4 +1 More, will deliver the keynote address. A reception will follow the keynote address, and a second screening of “Beat Street,” sponsored by the CWE Office of Student Affairs, will conclude the first day’s events.
On day two, Hip Hop USA, a collective of New York City Subway graffiti legends, street artists and fine urban artist, will produce “From Caves to Subway Cars,” an art exhibition and panel discussion.
Registration for the conference is required and begins at 5 p.m. each day. Attendance Fee: $20 for one day; $30 for two days. College Students: $10 one day; $20 for two days. Must show a valid college ID. People interested in attending can also register online at http://ishiphophistory5.eventbrite.com/.
The “Is Hip Hop History” Conference was made possible by financial support from the Office of the Dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education; the City College Center for the Arts, the CWE Alumni Group and the CWE Office of Student Affairs.
About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.