Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Press Room

Lincoln Center News

Fresh, Bold & So Def Symposium Centers Career Development and Achievements of Women in Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop Education Center and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Collaboration Features Pioneering Leaders Alongside

Next Generation Trailblazers 


Friday, April 5, 2024



NEW YORK, NY (February 6, 2024) –The Hip-Hop Education Center  and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) present the inaugural Fresh, Bold & So Def Symposium: A Tribute to Women in Hip-Hop, the first conference of a three-part series, spotlighting the often-unsung heroines who have played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Hip-Hop culture.


The Fresh, Bold & So Def Symposium will showcase the rich tapestry of talent and innovation brought forth by women trailblazers in a male-dominated industry as a means of empowering future and seasoned artistic leaders to push Hip-Hop culture forward with fresh perspectives and bold insight, facilitated by prominent leaders in the community.


“The Hip-Hop Education Center is extremely proud to elevate the achievements and contributions of women in Hip-Hop at one of the most prestigious performing arts institutions in our country,” said Martha Diaz, Chief Curator, Hip-Hop Education Center. “Having a platform where our history is honored and can be shared, documented, and made accessible to the masses is not only monumental, it is empowering!” 


“We are committed to developing tomorrow’s arts leaders, so it’s crucial for us to amplify overlooked voices, especially within the Hip-Hop space,” said Lee Bynum, Chief Education Officer, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “Providing this educational platform allows us to cultivate future leaders who appreciate the diversity of contributions that continue to shape this vital art form.” 


The morning session focuses on educating local high school students on the elements of Hip-Hop culture through hands-on workshops, a career cypher, and more, while the afternoon symposium, tailored to industry professionals, offers panel discussions, fireside chats, performances, and networking opportunities.


Key highlights include:


    DiSRUPTERS: WOMEN WHO DARED TO BE DiFFERENT, a panel moderated by author and journalist Kathy Iandoli on paving new career pathways with trailblazers Erica Ford, founder of violence prevention organization LIFE Camp, world renowned graffiti artist and designer Claw Money, legendary DJ and radio host Jazzy Joyce, and Rosa Clemente, first Afro-Latina to run for Vice-President of the United States on the Green Party ticket

 BOSS UP! THE ART OF NEGOTIATION, a lecture with Wendy Day, founder of the Rap Coalition, a not-for-profit organization helping artists navigate the industry more advantageously

 GAME CHANGERS: TRAILBLAZERS MENTORING THE NEXT GENERATION OF GIRLS & WOMEN IN HIP-HOP featuring legendary stylist and fashion designer Misa Hylton of Misa Hylton Fashion Academy, Tiffany Miranda of Girls Make Beats, Ladies of Hip-Hop founder Michele Byrd-McPhee, music industry veteran Sophia Chang of Unlock Her Potential, and Shyvonne Sanganoo of Lower East Side Girls Club

      STRAIGHTEN YOUR CROWN: STAYING GROUNDED AND CENTERED IN SELF-CARE, a fireside chat with artist and Hip-Hop ambassador Toni Blackman and music industry executive Shanti Das on how community and mental health affect quality of life

 BLOW THE WHISTLE: CULTURE SHIFTING WOMEN, a panel discussion on navigating misogyny in the culture with filmmaker and scholar Rachel Raimist, pioneering MC and author Sheri Sher of the Mercedes Ladies, Elizabeth Mendez-Berry, Vice President and Executive Editor of One World, May Praseuth, Founder and Executive Director of The Good Foot Arts Collective, Juana Sperling of female rap group JJ Fad, and writer and producer Kim Osorio

  MIC CHECK: FIRST LADIES CYPHER, a fireside chat with pioneering MCs Sha-Rock, Pebblee Poo, Debbie D, and Lisa Lee, moderated by Martha Diaz

HIP-HOP FEMINIST FUTURISM, presented by award-winning journalist, author, and a provocative cultural critic Dr. Joan Morgan

 Workshops for high-school students rooted in breaking, beat-making, graffiti, and oral history with Community for Urban Dance & Art, Girls Make Beats, Ladies Love Project, and Lower East Side Girls Club

 Performances by Ladies of Hip-Hop and Full Circle Souljahs of world-renowned Hip-Hop dance duo Kwikstep and Rokafella


Fresh, Bold & So Def Symposium takes place on Friday, April 5, 2024, at 2:30 p.m., inside Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Tickets are Choose-What-You-Pay and go on sale Thursday, February 22, 2024. For more information visit


Download artist images HERE.

Full schedule available HERE.


 **ALL onsite press opportunities must be coordinated in advance. Please direct all inquiries to [email protected] and/or [email protected].  **



About Hip Hop Education Center

The Hip-Hop Education Center (HHEC) is an innovation hub and incubator that centralizes and connects the work of Hip-Hop artists, teachers, students, scholars, archivists, curators, activists, and social entrepreneurs from across the globe to empower the community and preserve, create, and honor Hip-Hop’s legacy. The mission of the Hip-Hop Education Center is to empower individuals and communities by catalyzing social change and equity through research, curated curricula, collaborative programming, career and leadership training, and the development of a living archive.


About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) is a cultural and civic cornerstone of New York City. The primary advocate for the entire Lincoln Center campus, our strategic priorities include: fostering collaboration and deepening impact across the Lincoln Center resident organizations; championing inclusion and increasing the accessibility and reach of Lincoln Center’s work; and nurturing innovation on stage and off to help ensure the arts are at the center of civic life for all. LCPA presents hundreds of programs each year, offered primarily for free and choose-what-you-pay, including many specially designed for young audiences, families, and those with disabilities.




Hip-Hop and contemporary arts programming made possible by Nike


Additional support is provided by The Harkness Foundation for Dance


Endowment support is provided by the Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance


Major support for Campaign for One Million Kids provided by Leonard and Judy Lauder


Lead support for educational programming is provided by Anonymous


Major support for educational programming is provided by LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust and The Walt Disney Company


Additional support is provided by Constans Culver Foundation, NBCUniversal, the Richmond County Savings Foundation, Alice L. Walton Foundation, the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, the Theodore H. Barth Foundation, The Katz Family Charitable Lead Trust, Tom and Musa Mayer, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Giants Foundation, Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, Inc., William Sherman, trustee for the Murray G. and Beatrice H. Sherman Charitable Trust


Educational programming is made possible, in part, with public support facilitated by New York City Council Members Julie Menin and Keith Powers


Lead support for Choose-What-You-Pay is provided by the Family of Robert Wood Johnson III


Additional support is provided by the PNC Foundation


Major support is provided by the Shubert Foundation


Additional support is provided by the DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund


Lincoln Center’s artistic excellence is made possible by the dedication and generosity of our board members


Operation of Lincoln Center’s public plazas is supported in part with public funds provided by the City of New York


Programs are made possible, in part, with public funds provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Empire State Development, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor, Mayor of the City of New York, the New York State Legislature and the New York City Council


NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center


United is the Preferred Airline of Lincoln Center Presents


Steinway & Sons is the Preferred Piano Partner of Lincoln Center






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For more information, please contact:

Cristina Camacho

[email protected]