This is pretty rad. The University of Wisconsin’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives is offering a full-tuition scholarship for hip hop practitioners. The First Wave Urban Arts Scholarship, as they write, “is the first collegiate scholarship in the U.S. devoted to the elements of hip hop. To be eligible, students must be graduating high school seniors or first year college students with solid grades and exceptional talents as poets, emcees, graffiti artists, break dancers or music producers.”
Applications are due December 3, 2010. More info + application on http://omai.wisc.edu/.
DJing is left off the list intentionally. Christie Z-Pabon, head of DMC USA and Tools of War, inquired about the omission. The response was certainly reasonable – “We don’t include DJing in the recruitment language, because we’re looking for students who create original music and beats. Most often, they’re also talented DJs; however, the converse is not always true.” No turntablists though?
I think this scholarship is awesome. There are tons of reasons why this is great for Hip Hop, but I’m intrigued by the implications it has for the relationships between young people and their parents. Does this scholarship deal a blow to the days of “Jimmy, quit messing around with those spray cans and do your math homework”? Or, “Carla, quit writing those damn poems and finish your biology project”? Maybe! Now, Jimmy and Carla can say “Mom/Dad, if I don’t make my graffiti poems, how will I get the First Wave scholarship!?!?”