The Universal Hip Hop Museum has been awarded $5 million worth of federal funding to complete construction on the 50,000 square foot institution. As part of the almost $350 million Bronx Point affordable housing and mixed-use real estate development project, the museum and housing units are being built alongside an early childhood center, a science program for youth, and 2.8 acres of public outdoor space along the Harlem River.
The museum itself is projected to house a concert auditorium, an archive collection currently numbered at over 30,000 Hip Hop artifacts, and an education center which, as stated by the UHHM’s organizers, is intended to “influence the field of education to be more equitable, inclusive and culturally responsive to students by offering educational tools, curricula, and programming.”
The ceremony celebrating the $5 million grant was attended by KRS-One, his wife Simone G. Parker, Eric B, and Grandmaster Flash. The Hip Hop pioneers and attending family stood alongside Senators Kristin Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer as well as Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson to speak about the project and its impact on the surrounding community.
“This is a down payment because we are planting the seeds for the next generation.” Borough President Gibson said. She went on to add, “From the local jobs stimulating the economy, the intersection of education, culture, and hip hop. Making sure our young people have a level playing field, that we balance those scales of justice, so that we are training the next artists, and producers, and DJs, etc.”
Speaking at the ceremony, KRS-One said about the project, “(It is) a plan that educates people not only on Hip Hop but their own self worth. This is what Hip Hop taught us.”
According to UHHM officials, this round of additional funding will allow the Universal Hip Hop Museum to officially open its doors on schedule by the end of 2024. At the time of this writing, the museum is currently hosting a pop up exhibit at the Bronx Terminal Market, highlighting Hip Hop history between the years 1986-1990.