UW–Madison to host Byrd-McPhee as the fall 2020 Division of the Arts interdisciplinary artist

The UW–Madison Division of the Arts welcomes Michele Byrd-McPhee as the fall 2020 interdisciplinary artist. Michele Byrd-McPhee is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, producer, curator, and director of Ladies of Hip-Hop. Byrd-McPhee has been working for many years to re-contextualize spaces and conversation about Hip-Hop culture along gender, sex, cultural and socio-historical, and racial lines.

Michele Byrd-McPhee

The UW–Madison Division of the Arts’ Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program (IARP) brings innovative artists to UW­­–Madison to teach semester-long, interdepartmental courses and to publicly present their work for campus and community audiences and is funded through the university’s Office of the Provost.

The Fall 2020 Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program is presented by the UW–Madison Division of the Arts and hosted by the School of Education’s Dance Department with Assistant Professor Duane Lee Holland, Jr. as lead faculty.

For the semester, Byrd-McPhee is teaching the course “Hip-Hop Culture, Women & the World.” Students will examine the roots of Hip-Hop culture and its current place as a global phenomenon with a specific focus on the history, contributions, and experiences of women in Hip-Hop. The course will explore race, class, gender, sexuality, and politics through the lens of Hip-Hop culture. Students will engage with artists using visual art, spoken word, music, dance, and technology. This course will debunk perceptions and question students’ understanding of Hip-Hop culture. It will provide an introduction to the theory, practice, aesthetics, and historical foundations of Hip-Hop dance. All of the residency and events will be held remotely.

To supplement the course and residency, Byrd-McPhee and guest artists will be presenting to students in the course and hosting public events. Guest artists include dancer, dance educator, and scholar LaTasha Barnes (week of Oct. 19); spoken word and recording artist Ursula Rucker (week of Oct. 26); visual artist and graphic designer Stacey “Flygirrl” Wilson (week of Nov. 2); and curator, filmmaker, writer, and director of the BlackStar Film festival Maori Holmes (TBD). More details about their events will posted online later this fall.

Co-sponsors of IARP include the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) & First Wave Learning CommunityThe Studio Creative Arts Community, the School of Education’s office of Professional Learning and Community Education (PLACE), the School of Education’s Art Department, and Drum Power. Other campus and community supporters include the Department of Afro-American Studies and Barrio Dance.