MADISON, WI — The Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement, along with the Department of Afro- American Studies, the Wisconsin Book Festival, the Arts Institute, 100state, and Pathways to Excellence, present the eleventh annual Passing the Mic, a Hip Hop Arts Festival that takes place every fall.
Passing the Mic celebrates the transformational potential of Hip Hop arts in the Madison community and on the UW- Madison campus, and involves First Wave scholars, teen artists from across the US, as well as internationally renowned performing artists. This year’s festival reflects the theme of “Indigenous Traditions, Multilingual Voices in Hip Hop Today.”
As the multicultural component of the Wisconsin Book Festival, Passing the Mic continually draws some of the most diverse audiences for any festival held in Madison each year. Willie Ney, Director of OMAI and First Wave, expressed, “The festival highlights young students of color who are among the most talented and gifted aspiring young artists from across the Midwest,” hailing from areas such as Chicago, Green Bay, Milwaukee, the Twin Cities, and Madison. OMAI is also pleased to welcome a crew of world-class performers to Madison, including Telmary Diaz, a female Cuban rapper and jazz poet; J. Ivy, a Grammy Award winner and author of Dear Father; Frank Waln, the Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist who has been featured on MTV’s Revel Music series; Hip Hop artist and actor Baba Israel; and Hip Hop scholar Kyle Mays of Black and Saginaw Chippewa heritage.
All events listed below take place in Promenade Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts (201 State Street), and are free and open to the public:
Thursday, October 22, 2015
• 3:30-5:00pm | Indigenous Traditions, Multilingual Voices in Hip Hop Today: A
Featuring Frank Waln, Telmary Diaz, J. Ivy, Baba Israel
Moderated by Dr. Kyle T. Mays (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
• 7:00-9:30pm | Passing the Mic/All Elements Hip Hop Arts Showcase Featuring Midwest Hip Hop All Stars
Hosted by J. Ivy, Frank Waln, and First Wave
Featuring the Midwest Youth Spoken Word and Hip Hop All Stars
Friday, October 23, 2015
• 5:00-6:30pm | First Wave Spoken Word Showcase: Indigenous Traditions,
First Wave poets put their unique poetic spin on the global languages of hip hop and will be responded to by renowned local and internationally acclaimed artists, community intellectuals, and UW faculty members
• 7:00-9:30pm | Celebrating Ten Years of OMAI
A showcase featuring guest artists and an excerpt of Baba Israel’s “The Spinning Wheel by Baba Israel”
Saturday, October 24, 2015
• 8:00-10:00pm | Showcase Performance: Indigenous Traditions, Multilingual
Telmary Diaz, Frank Waln, J. Ivy, and First Wave artists & Midwest Youth Hip Hop All Stars
About the Artists
J. Ivy is a Grammy-Award winning Chicago-based spoken word artist whose new book, Dear Father, was recently released by Simon and Schuster Publishers. He has worked with industry notables such as Russell Simmons, Deepak Chopra, and Kanye West.
Frank Waln, an award winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist, producer, and performer from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, has been featured on MTV’s Rebel Music Series. He released his first album, Scars and Bars, in 2010, and recently released the EP Born Ready. Telmary Diaz hails directly from Havana, Cuba. Diaz is an acclaimed multi-talented artist who has shared the stage with the likes of Africa Bambaataa, Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, and other musical giants. She is also a guest artist for the fall 2015 Juan de Marcos González Interdisciplinary Arts Residency.
Baba Israel is a theatre and Hip Hop artist who has toured across the United States, Europe, South America, Australia, and Asia, performing with such artists as Outkast, Philip Glass, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, and Vernon Reid, among many others.
Kyle Mays, originally from Detroit, is a Hip Hop scholar of Black and Saginaw Chippewa heritage who has just begun his tenure as a member of the History Department at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Passing the Mic is presented by the Office of Multicultural Initiatives within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement, along with the Department of Afro-American Studies, the Wisconsin Book Festival, the Arts Institute, 100state, and Pathways to Excellence.
The Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives within the Division of Diversity, Equity, & Educational Achievement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides culturally relevant and transformative arts programming to promote positive social dialogue, and to give cultural art forms a legitimate academic forum. By harnessing the broad cultural influence of spoken word, hip hop, and emerging as well as traditional art forms, OMAI’s events and programming create learning environments that directly affect UW-Madison’s campus climate, improving retention and graduation success, preparing future leaders to reinvest in their communities. By continually refreshing this paradigm that integrates traditional academics and cutting edge arts activism, OMAI empowers transnational leaders with new tools for inclusive community building.