Hip Hop: A Black Tie Affair Returns Feb. 25

The YWCA Wheeling and Wheeling Heritage present Hip Hop: A Black Tie  Affair on February 25, at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 1400 Main Street, Wheeling. This even will celebrate the art form of hip-hop and the culture associated with it. Wheeling Heritage and the YWCA plan to tap into several forms of art during this event, including visual and performing arts. 

“This event is very special to me,” said Ron Scott Jr., YWCA Wheeling Cultural Diversity and Community Outreach Director who had a vision for inclusion and creativity surrounding the genre of Hip-Hop. “The inaugural event showed great potential, but restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic stripped us of the chance to really allow it to become the beautiful blending of the elegance of an art gallery opening and the raw creativity of a hip hop show. We are finally getting a chance to grow the event as we want.” 

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The evening will start at 6 p.m. with the hip-hop-inspired art exhibition. This is a juried exhibition that artists can submit to have their hip-hop-inspired work displayed. A screening of “Please Listen to My Demo” will begin at 7  p.m. This video will be a complication of acapella 16-bar verses submitted by MCs who use hip-hop as a  medium to contemplate their identities. The evening will finish out with two local DJs – DJ Stealth & DJ Phurcat – playing a mix of old and new-school hip-hop in a blend of breakbeats, and original samples, culminating in a DJ  battle that will demonstrate the extensive reach and creativity of the hip hop genre. 

“Partnering with our friends and neighbors has always been a focus here at Wheeling Heritage,” said Scott Schenerlein, Executive Director at Wheeling Heritage. “We are so excited to once again be able to partner  with the YWCA. Arts and culture are meant to be celebrated and this will be a very special evening.” 

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For this event, “black tie” simply means to wear your most formal attire. However, no one will be turned away or discouraged from attending due to attire. “Black tie affairs” are often reserved for formal evening events. As an art form, hip-hop has not been traditionally regarded as a genre worthy of such reverence, and this event works to change that.  

The Wheeling YWCA and Wheeling Heritage are currently seeking artist submissions for both the art exhibit and video screening. The visual artist must apply by Friday, February 3 but the art does not have to be completed and delivered until Feb. 17. Artists can apply for their work to be considered at  wheelingheritage.org/hip-hop. MCs who wish to submit their 16-bar verses can send their audio file to Ron Scott at cdcodirector@ywcawheeling.org by Feb. 1. Artists should keep in mind that this is a public event open to all ages.

Hip Hop: A Black Tie Affair begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free for those who attend; however, donations are accepted. All proceeds will go to the YWCA Wheeling. To learn more about the event, visit wheelingheritage.org/hip-hop

About Wheeling Heritage: 

Wheeling Heritage is a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling. Through historic preservation, community development, and the arts, we help to tell Wheeling’s story and shape its future. We seek to improve the quality of life in Wheeling by preserving and investing in our city, collaborating with others, and engaging the citizens of Wheeling in our work. 

About YWCA Wheeling: 

Since 1906, the YWCA Wheeling has provided services to individuals regardless of race, gender, age, or religion in the West Virginia Northern Panhandle, including Ohio, Marshall, Brooke, Wetzel, Hancock  Counties, and Belmont and Jefferson Counties in Ohio.