The Chattanooga Hip Hop Summit hosted a week-long Hip Hop Week complete with five days of local events last week. 

In conjunction with the Think Achieve program on campus, the summit brought a concert to UTC on Oct. 14. 

“Bringing Chattanooga to UTC” was held on Thursday night, and just as the sun set around 6:50 p.m., music played as students danced on Chamberlain Field.

Upon checking in to the free event, students were greeted with members form the Division of Diversity and Engagement, one of the campus organizations that helped make the concert a possibility. 

Other organizations involved included the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Department of Performing Arts. 

Stuart Benkert of the Department of Performing Arts began cultivating this event after speaking about the Chattanooga Hip Hop Summit. 

Benkert said he thought the Department of Performing Arts would be a great collaborator on the project, and he and Micah Chapman — co-founder and director of Hip-Hop CHA — decided Chamberlain Field would best serve as the event’s first venue given the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Benkert also said that in bringing this event to campus, he heavily considered the importance of on-campus activities for students.

“It allows us to engage the community, collaborate with local and diverse artists, increase diverse offerings for students, signal to students that we hear them and are doing our best to bring them something they value,” he said. 

As Thursday night’s concert was the first at UTC’s campus, Benkert hopes the event will grow and eventually take on McKenzie Arena as a venue. 

Ice Prado, a student at UTC, attended the concert to support a friend of hers, Javon Roberts, who performs under Vun Rashid.

The Chattanooga Hip Hop Summit also hosted a free concert on Satuday, Oct. 16 at Miller Park downtown. 

Intersecting Market Street and MLK Avenue, music, lights and people gathering once again were on full display. 

Saturday night’s concert was hosted by Kinnawa the Africanthunder and Jabo Twocrunk.

After the previous semesters, it was clear that being together to enjoy one thing that can bring everyone together — music — was exciting for students and the community.  

For upcoming events on the Chattanooga Hip Hop Summit click here.

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