Milwaukee to welcome Arrested Development, Wordsworth for hip hop’s 50th anniversary

MILWAUKEE — Hip hop will celebrate 50 years this August and Milwaukee is preparing to commemorate it in a major way.

Complete with elements of hip hop culture, the Marcus Performing Arts Center and TRUE Skool announced Wednesday they will host a two-day anniversary celebration — the 2023 Summer Park Jam — from Aug. 11-12 at the MPAC Outdoor Grounds.

Although the event is now in its fifth year, this year’s event starts on the actual date of the music genre’s anniversary and features two notable acts.

(Courtesy of Marcus Performing Arts Center)

Milwaukee’s own Speech will be joined by his Grammy Award-winning group, Arrested Development, in a “spectacular” performance on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. It will be free and open to the public.

“Hip Hop is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and guess what? I am coming back home to Milwaukee to celebrate this monumental occasion with all of you! There’s no better place to be than right here in Milwaukee,” exclaimed Speech (Todd Thomas), co-founder of Arrested Development and Milwaukee native, in an exclusive video.

Renowned author and iconic rap lyricist Wordsworth will also be there, providing tools and resources to local entrepreneurs and educators during the “CEO Sessions” on Aug. 11. That event will run from noon to 4 p.m. and will include panels and pop-up workshops with multiple speakers from various media and music sectors.

In addition to performance and workshops, guests can experience local vendors, a skateboarding area, live Graffiti Art and Breakin’ competitions.

(Courtesy of Marcus Performing Arts Center)

Co-Executive Director of TRUE Skool Fidel Verdin said the events bring together everything that hip hop is about.

“Hip Hop Culture embodies both education and entertainment, often referred to as ‘Edutainment,’ as well as entrepreneurship. Our Summer Park Jam weekend encapsulates all of these elements,” Verdin said in a statement.

MPAC Vice President of Programming and Engagement Jared Duymovic said he’s excited to provide opportunities for youth and families to engage with the local arts.

Milwaukee to welcome Arrested Development

“This event is just the beginning of our year-long collaborative programming, which will honor different facets of Hip Hop cultural arts and education,” Duymovic said in a statement.

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