Annual Passing the Mic Festival will be Oct. 20-22

October 14, 2016

UW-Madison’s 12th Annual Passing the Mic Festival will be Oct. 20-22 on the theme of “Hip Hop Education in the Classroom and Beyond.”

It’s organized by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives, home of the First Wave Scholarship program and partners with the Wisconsin Book Festival.

Guest artists will also meet with K-12 educators and students during their visit.

Passing the Mic is an annual event that celebrates the transformational potential of hip hop and multicultural arts expressions in the Madison community and on the UW–Madison campus and involves First Wave scholars and alums, teen artists from across the Midwest as well as internationally-renowned performing artists and scholars. It also serves as a recruitment tool for future OMAI’s First Wave Hip Hop Scholars.

This year’s festival will include the First Annual Hip Hop Education Summit, featuring the signature artists headlining the Passing the Mic Festival and also Wisconsin educators who have attended OMAI’s ground-breaking Hip Hop in the Heartland Educator’s Institutes.

Guest artists this year include:

  • Toni Blackman, New York City, Actress, artist and former American Cultural Specialist in Hip Hop to the U.S. Department of State
  • Jeff Chang, San Francisco Bay area, author and executive director of the institute for diversity in the arts at Stanford University
  • Chris Emdin, New York City, Professor at Columbia University and STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State
  • Brian Mooney, New Jersey, author and educator
  • Xuman, Senegal, Hip Hop artist, activist and TV co-host for “Journal Rappe”
  • Rain Wilson, Chicago and Madison, writer, performer, teacher and director

All of the events are free and open to the public and registration is only required for the 1st Annual Hip Hop Education Summit.

Registration and a full schedule are available at

Passing the Mic is held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Book Festival. It is presented by the UW–Madison Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) within the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement. Community partners/supporters include the Overture Center for the Arts, Breaking Barriers Mentoring, Project 1808 and the Madison Metropolitan School District. UW–Madison partners/supporters include the Arts Institute, Department of Afro-American Studies and the School of Education’s Outreach and Partnership Office and Partner School Network.