By Ryan Velez
Harlem is getting a new addition to its skyline—one dedicated to a modern cultural contribution from the African-American community: hip-hop. The Hip Hop Hall of Fame and Museum will be coming to Harlem’s 125th Street in 2019-2020. A recent article from The Network Journal talking about this latest project shows that the Museum promises to be even more than a showcase of this rapidly-growing legacy.
Of course, the central goal of the Museum will be to memorialize hip-hop culture and the influences it has had through its exhibit. Founder J.T. Thompson mentioned that the world is now ready for that one-of-a-kind concept.
“The time has finally come where history will have a permanent home to build a foundation for history, education, knowledge, innovation, and creativity for future generations to understand hip-hop’s origins, the elements and the struggle for socio-economic empowerment opportunities for young people and families around the world,” Thompson remarked.
The Museum currently serves as a chartered non-profit. Currently, it is planned to be one part of the larger Hip Hop Hall of Fame, Museum and Entertainment Complex. Along with the Museum and Hall of Fame, the complex will also include gift shops, arcade, TV studios, sports bars, restaurants and a concert lounge. What also can’t be ignored is the potential for benefits beyond just entertainment and preservation. A press release noted that the complex will not only introduce many new permanent and part-time jobs to the community, but it will also offer internships and community volunteer opportunities to students.
Dove Entertainment, who is handling press and coordination of the Hall, note that Harlem has been a long-time source of culture that influences the world. “The Harlem Renaissance has influenced artists, poets, educators, politicians, entrepreneurs, entertainers and community leaders from New York City and throughout the world. Hip Hop music and culture will now join the legacy in Harlem.”
Also part of the space will be a commitment to education. Students will train with industry professionals through a series of internships, field trips, and classes in the facility. The final result will be that each student graduates with their own e-commerce store, as well as skills in entrepreneurship, business management, and job creation. “All classes will include a ‘Life-Skill Module,’ teaching young people about personal development and financial literacy. The socio-economic impact in New York is estimated at over $350M annually,” Dove Entertainment adds.