For all you aspiring Chicago rappers, there’s finally a conference coming to town for you. Chicago’s Hip Hop Teach-in: Remixing the Art of Social Change will take place at various locations around Chicago May 5 to May 8.
It is presented by Words Beats & Life, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization focused on transforming communities through hip-hop and publishing the only peer-reviewed academic journal on hip-hop. But unlike previous teach-ins hosted by the organization, most of the ground-level organizing has been local to Chicago, with help from more than twenty-five organizations, including Columbia College, Northwestern University, Kuumba Lynx, IMAN and others.
It will include workshops and discussions on topics like “The Challenges of Navigating Sexual Identity” and “Hip Hop Pedagogy From the Streets to the University and back to the Streets.” There will also be performances, film screenings, and on Saturday night, a final concert at Columbia College featuring artists from around the world, with headliner Invincible.
“It’s an event for people who want to be practitioners: who want to engage in a dialogue about how we can push these art forms forward, re-imagine what’s possible in terms of transforming individual lives,” says Mazi Mutafa, executive director of Words Beats & Life.
The events are free for anyone under 23-years-old and $10 for anyone over. Tickets for Saturday’s “Chicago’s Diasporic Hip Hop Concert” are $10. For more information and registration, visit www.wblinc.org/chiteachin. (Shaunacy Ferro)