The Bronx, New York will be honored by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center in Washington, D.C. as a “hot spot” of innovation in the spring of 2015. This is because of the inventions and innovation that helped build the foundation of Hip Hop in the 1970s.
The Bronx will be featured in this exhibit along with Hollywood, California and Silicon Valley, California. Laurel Fritzsch, curator for the Bronx portion of this exhibit, explained the reasoning for honoring the borough.
“We wanted to show that it’s not just a single inventor who creates something, but really a community that creates the right recipe for an invention,” Fritzsch stated, in the NY Daily News. “The Bronx (in the 1970s) is an interesting contrast to Silicon Valley, which is kind of the stereotypical example. Inventors in the Bronx had a lot of hands-on skills and were able to apply that in ways that led to the creation of these innovative sound systems.”
The exhibit will also honor pioneers of the culture. Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc and Grand Wizzard Theodore will all be highlighted. Flash will be honored for the crossfader, Herc for his use of Jamaican sound systems and Theodore for scratching.
Aside from pioneers, the exhibit will also feature important historical pieces. Visitors can expect to find Hip Hop posters, video clips and boomboxes. Visitors will also be able to see vinyl records and they’ll even have an opportunity to scratch and mix.
“I think it’s really cool that they’re doing something like this,” Grand Wizzard Theodore said in the paper. “People need to know the history behind it all.”
The “Places of Invention” exhibit will be open to the public in spring of 2015. The Lemelson Center is a part of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. It is meant to showcase “the study of invention and innovation.” This will not be the first time the Smithsonian has featured Hip Hop. In 2008, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery featured Hip Hop.