Hip-hop workshop focuses on teaching tools

April 30, 2010

Now celebrating its fifth year, the Hip-Hop Educator and Community Leader Training Institute will be held on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus from July 7-11.

The registration deadline for the workshop is Tuesday, May 18.

Once again, the UW-Madison Office of Multicultural Initiatives will team up with Urban Word NYC to offer this weeklong program for teachers, educators, community leaders and education students to learn the best practices in hip-hop and spoken word pedagogy.

"Spoken word and hip-hop pedagogy is vital because it not only aligns itself with the voice of our next generation of young scholars and leaders, but also because it makes relevant a culture that has impacted and connected our global community," said Michael Cirelli, executive director of Urban Word NYC and director of the institute. "It's youth-centered, dynamic, technologically now and fresh. Teachers have the rare opportunity to build their understanding, accountability and curricula with the top practitioners and academics from across the country who have pioneered these cutting edge pedagogies."

Institute participants will learn proven, hands-on techniques that will help them to develop lesson plans and strengthen their course study, as well as create a platform from which they will understand the scope of hip-hop history, culture and politics, Cirelli said. The learning component is supported with night programming by lecturers and performers who will synthesize the day sessions with effective strategies and cutting-edge multicultural educational approaches.

"This year, we have also added many new workshops, as well as an advanced training track for participants who have attended the training institute in previous years," Cirelli said. "These opportunities will help educators deepen their practice as spoken word and hip-hop educators, as well as engage the best practices in student-centered liberatory education models."

This year's instructors include lead institute instructor Michael Cirelli, Christina Marin on theatrical methodologies, Rachel McKibbens on guiding meaningful and productive writing exercises, Marcella Runell Hall on social justice, David Kirkland on the influence of language, identity and power; and Mark Gonzales on teaching in times of trauma. Also teaching will be Jeff Duncan-Andrade on teaching effectively in urban schools, Patrick Camangian on the teaching tools to help students develop critical ideology, Lavie Raven on integrating art in the curriculum, along with Sam Sellers (DJ Rabbi Darkside) and Tracee Worley on using existing knowledge bases to broaden academic success, including standardized test scores.

Daily workshops are paired with a week of evening performances featuring readings, panel discussions, hip-hop theater and a concert. Two poetry powerhouses, McKibbens and Regie Cabico will kick things off, while a fresh line up of local and NYC hip-hop artists close out the week. Featured artists include NYC underground kingpin Homeboy Sandman and the Vancouver/Brooklyn crew Old Money.

The workshop is the winner of the 2007 North American Association of Summer Sessions "Creative and Innovative Program Award," and enrollment in the summer institute has topped more than 40 community volunteers and educators. Now in its fifth year, the teacher-training institute has grown with additional support from both Professors Carl Grant and Paula Wolfe of the UW-Madison School of Education's curriculum and instruction program.

To register online, visit here. Questions? Call the UW-Madison Office of Multicultural Arts at (608) 890-1006, or Cirelli at (212) 352-3495.

The following evening lectures, panel discussions and performances are free and open to the public:

Wednesday, July 7

Opening Performance Poetry: "From the Nuyorican To The Printed Page."Institute opening ceremony with Rachel McKibbens and Regie Cabico, 7 p.m., Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium, 816 State St.

McKibbens has been a nationally recognized slam champion known for her raw verse and passionate delivery for the past decade. She most recently won the 2009 Women of the World Slam and put out her first collection of poems, "Pink Elephant." Cabico is a poetry slam pioneer who won the Nuyorican Grand Slam in 1993, and since then has garnered numerous awards for his performances, one-man shows and mentoring.

Thursday, July 8

Lecture Series: "Note to Educator: Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete," with Jeff Duncan-Andrade at 7 p.m., Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium, 816 State St.

In this lecture, Duncan-Andrade draws from his 18 years as an urban educator to explore the concept of hope as essential for nurturing urban youth. He first identifies three forms of "false hope"- hokey hope, mythical hope and hope deferred — pervasive in and peddled by many urban schools. Discussion of these false hopes then gives way to Duncan-Andrade's conception of "critical hope," explained through the description of three necessary elements of educational practice that produce and sustain true hope.

Friday, July 9

"First Wave Jump Off Concert" with NYC's Underground Hip-Hop Phenom, Homeboy Sandman, and Brooklyn to Vancouver Transplants, Old Money, at 7 p.m., Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium, 816 State St.

Saturday, July 10

Spoken Word Theater Piece "Daddy Dress Up" by Thiahera Nurse at 7 p.m., Memorial Union Terrace, 800 Langdon St. Nurse is from Hollis, Queens, and is the newest addition to the award-winning First Wave program at UW-Madison.

--By Valeria Davis