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Stacy Willyard, a graduate student a George Mason’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution has spearheaded the organization of the first annual Hip Hop & Peacebuilding Frestival. This six day festival brings together an international coalition of artists and peacemakers and looks to define the roll hip hop can play in empowering youth to obtain a future of peace.

Its a pretty lofty idea, but one that is certainly welcome when violence seems to be increasing and hip-hop’s relevance as an agent of social change seems to be decreasing. Stacy and her co-organizers have put together a full schedule of events definitely worth checking out.

Full schedule inside…

Wednesday April 16th

Day Event: Film Screening: “Diamonds in the Rough” A Ugandan Hip Hop Revolution. The film will be followed by Q & A with the film-maker and Ugandan Hip Hop Artists. Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Housed in the Ronald Regan Building: Federal Triangle Metro) Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Night Event: Kick Off Showcase: “Global Connection Tour” Featuring: Babaluku – Uganda Rah – P – Tanzania Regime Change – New York Toney Parka – DC Flex Mathews – DC Where: DC 9 (U St. Metro: 1940 9th St. NW) Time: Doors Open at 9:30 PM

——————————————————————————————————— Thursday April 17th

Day Event: “Kenya Rap’s for Peace”: The Forming of the Kenyan Hip Hop Parliament Full Details TBA: Join us for a skype video conference call with members of the Kenyan Hip Hop Parliament. We will be linking with Ghetto Radio in Narobi, speaking with artists first hand about the current conditions in Kenya and the Emanuele Laikipia Peace Declaration. Come learn about Kenya’s current state of angst and insecurity and the artists’ quest to stop the violence and rebuild communities.

Night Event: Sounds of the City: DC Hip Hop Showcase Featuring: Kokayi Bomani Rosetta Stoned Oddisee Where: Bohemian Cavern (U St. Metro: 2001 11th St. NW) Time: Door Open at 8:00 PM

——————————————————————————————————— Friday April 18th

Day Event: USIP Examines Hip Hop in Violent Conflict Panelists: Kokayi – US State Dept. Goodwill Ambassador to Hip Hop Babaluku – Ugandan Hip Hop Artist Saba Saba – Ugandan Hip Hop Artist Marc Sommers PhD – Fletcher School, Tufts University Where: United States Institute of Peace (Farragut North & West Metro: 1200 17th St. NW) Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Night Event: DC Hip Hop Summit: Transforming Local Communities Recognizing and Visioning the power of Hip- Hop in Conflict Transformation Round Table Discussions with community leaders, workers, educators and artists. Featured Artists: Guardian Dance Troupe DC Poets Emcee Freestyle Cipher (With DC & International Artists) Where: Atlas Theatre (Shuttle from Union Station Metro: 1333 H. St. NE) Time: 6:00 – 10:00 PM

——————————————————————————————————— Saturday April 19th

Day Event: Peacebuilding & Arts Workshop Exploring how transformational art can facilitate conflict transformation If you’d like to attend the workshop please contact: transformationalart@gmail.com …space is limited Where: Atlas Theatre (H St. Cooridor: 1333 H. St. NE) Time: 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Hip Hop 2.0 Panel Discussion exploring the role that new media, social networking sites and digital technology has had on the dissemination of hip-hop culture internationally. Where: Atlas Theatre Time: 6:30 – 7:30 PM

Night Event: Global Hip Hop / Global Citizenship SHOW Featuring Artists from Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Hati, Palestine & DC Where: Atlas Theatre (Shuttle from Union Station Metro: 1333 H. St. NE) Time: 8:00 – 11:00 PM

——————————————————————————————————— Monday April 21st

Day Event: African Underground: Hip Hop and Conflict Transformation Film Screening: Africa Underground: Democracy in Dakar followed by a panel with the filmmakers and Artists African Underground Allstars: LIVE PERFORMANCE Where: George Mason University: Johnson Center Cinema, Host: Project Nur ( GMU: Fairfax Virginia Campus) Time: 12:00 – 5:30 PM