Washington, D.C. - 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. is set to launch its inaugural Hip Hop season this Friday (October 6).

Q-Tip, who serves as the Center’s first artistic director of Hip Hop culture, will begin the season with a performance alongside jazz pianist Jason Moran, who sits as the Center’s artistic director for jazz.

The new season – which focuses on celebrating early pioneers and Hip Hop generation creators – is a culmination of over three years of work from the Center’s leadership team. The season was born out of their realization that as one of America’s leading performing arts centers, it must showcase one of the nation’s largest and most important cultural exports: Hip Hop.

“Goal number one is to provide a home for the culture: artists, organizations, and individuals interested in presenting Hip Hop related programs,” Simone Eccleston, the Kennedy Center’s director of Hip Hop culture and contemporary music, said in a recent interview with DCist. “One of the unique spaces we occupy is being able to provide a multi-faceted view. We can show hip-hop’s contribution to artistic areas across the board.”

Eccleston added that she hopes to illustrate Hip Hop’s continuous innovation with the Center’s new season.

“No one anticipated how Hip Hop would go from communities in The Bronx to become a world-wide phenomenon,” she said. “There is no space or place that Hip Hop hasn’t affected.”

Q-Tip and Jason Moran’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. local time. It will be followed by a free dance party presented by deejay Rich Medina and The Marksmen. For tickets to either event, visit the Kennedy Center’s website.