Kennedy Center Names First Director of Hip-Hop Culture

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., has named its very first director of hip hop culture, Simone Eccleston.

Eccleston served as the director of programming at Harlem Stage in New York, and will start at the Kennedy Center on March 13.

It’s part of the Kennedy Center’s goal of incorporating more hip-hop into its programming. Q-Tip was named artistic director for hip hop last year.

Eccleston will be in charge of contemporary genres like R&B, folk, world music and Latin music programming at the Kennedy Center.

“With the Kennedy Center serving as the preeminent home for our nation’s arts and culture, the creation of a programming platform for Hip-Hop culture is deeply significant,” she said in a statement.

Senior Vice President Robert van Leer of the Kennedy Center said, “We are thrilled to have an arts administrator of Simone’s caliber join us — someone who can lead that exploration of what hip-hop at the Kennedy Center can become in the coming years.”

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