USDAC Statement on Syrian Refugee Crisis

Today I am reposting a statement from the US Department of Arts and Culture, calling on artists and creative activists to step up in this time of increased xenophobia, and to stand for empathy and justice. The image above is We Are Not Numbers, by Heba Al Akkad, part of a collection curated at the

PARK(ing) Day 2015

Today is PARK(ing) Day, when metered parking spaces around the world are transformed into parks as part of a global challenge to rethink how we use public space. In honor of PARK(ing) day, I want to share a hot-off-the-presses case study from the people at Beautiful Trouble. For the full BT experience, visit http://beautifultrouble.org  

Celebrating Joe Hill on Labor Day

“The Copper Bosses killed you Joe, They shot you Joe” says I. “Takes more than guns to kill a man” Says Joe “I didn’t die” Says Joe “I didn’t die” — Paul Robeson (and many others), Joe Hill This past

Twelve Songs That Teach Hip-Hop History

“What we’re gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time.” — Troglodite, by the Jimmy Castor Bunch Hip-Hop has always been hyper-conscious about its roots, maybe because it began with young people playing, and then rapping

#DareToImagine: A Call to (Creative) Action

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” — Arundhati Roy This October, the people-powered US Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC)*, in partnership with Cultural Organizing, is

Artists: Engage in Global Un-War Project

Today I am reposting a powerful call to action from artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, head of the Interrogative Design Group and professor in residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. For decades, Wodiczko has been carrying out large-scale public and

Schooling Hip-Hop: A Review

As part of my ongoing effort to read everything about hip-hop education, I recently finished Schooling Hip-Hop: Expanding Hip-Hop Based Education Across the Curriculum, edited by Marc Lamont Hill and Emery Petchauer. I’ve read individual chapters before, but this was

From the Crates: Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life

I’ve been catching up on my hip-hop education reading, and just finished Marc Lamont Hill’s award-winning 2009 book Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life. Dr. Hill has become a popular and controversial public intellectual, currently the host of HuffPost Live and

Remembering Cultural Organizer Guy Carawan

This past month we lost one of the great cultural organizers of our time. Guy Carawan passed away on May 2 at the age of 87, closing out a life dedicated to music, justice, and the celebration of folk culture.