The Kennedy Center Announces First Director of Hip-Hop Culture and Contemporary Music


The Kennedy Center plans to expand its music programming by bringing on board its first director of hip hop culture and contemporary music.

When Simone Eccleston assumes her new role on March 13, she will spearhead new programs and community initiatives at the Kennedy Center to promote hip hop and contemporary music of various genres (folk, indie rock, world music and more). Eccleston previously served as the director of programming at New York’s Harlem Stage.

“With the Kennedy Center serving as the preeminent home for our nation’s arts and culture, the creation of a programmatic platform for hip-hop culture is deeply significant,” Eccleston said in a statement.

Last year, the Kennedy Center appointed A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip as its artistic director for hip hop. The veteran emcee and Eccleston will work together to grow hip hop’s presence at the Kennedy Center, with a specific focus on community-oriented programs.