Written by Bianca Bahamondes and Justine Golata
The Universal Hip Hop Museum will have a permanent space in Bronx Point in 2024, and we can’t imagine a better place for it to call home.
The Bronx has birthed many famous hip hop artists, so it’s only right that this museum be located there, at 65 East 149th Street, along the Harlem River.
“Anchored in the birthplace of the culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx will provide a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge, creating unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences around the hip-hop culture of the past, present, and future,” states the UHHM website.
The UHHM was founded by Rocky Bucano, Kurtis Blow, Shawn LG Thomas, Grandwizzard Theodore, Mickey Bentson, and Joe Conzo Jr; and they got together with artists like LL Cool J, Ice T, and Chuck D to create a star-studded board.
Construction on the new building was expected to break ground in July 2020 with a scheduled completion date in 2023. The timing would have aligned perfectly with the 50th anniversary of hip hop, but alas, the pandemic has pushed back the museum’s debut.
Bronx Point construction began in January 2021 and UHHM.org is in Phase 2 of their campaign fund “Time 2 Build.” There will be a soft opening to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary of the Bronx born culture and musical genre in 2023 and a full museum opening in 2024.
The UHHM will be the “cultural anchor” of the $65 million dollar Bronx Point project, said the UHHM website.
Once completed, the Universal Hip Hop Museum will span nearly 60,000-square-feet and “will feature an interactive museum experience with immersive exhibits, live performances, film screenings, seminars, and demonstration labs.”
Here’s the museum trailer they’ve released:
In the meantime…
the UHHM had already opened a pop-up immersive AI exhibit at Bronx Terminal Market called “[R]Evolution of Hip Hop,” in collaboration with Microsoft and the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality, that is however temporarily closed due to COVID-19. The exhibit followed the history of hip hop from the 1960s-70s to now. The museum had stated that they hoped to re-open by February 2021 in honor of Black History month, but a date for their re-opening has yet to be released.
With March kicking off Women’s History month, UHHM is celebrating women in hip hop with their Fresh, Bold, and So Def Women’s Initiative (FBSD) campaign. The campaign is led by the Hip Hop Education Center and is part of the year-round programming leading to the 15th anniversary of the Year of the Hip Hop Woman.
Every week in March the FBSD initiative will host virtual panel discussions, along with a social media campaign and weekly playlists curated by EMMA LEE.
Learn more about the FBSD initiative here.
featured image source: UHHM Bronx Point Renderings
Also published on Medium.