BRONX – Ahead of the 50th anniversary of hip hop, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16) joined together at the construction site of the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx to announce $5 million in federal funding to help preserve and celebrate hip hop music’s history and influence over American culture. The Universal Hip Hop Museum will become a tourist hub honoring the music genre’s influence over art, music, fashion, film, marketing and entertainment, and celebrating the pioneers who built the culture, such as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, DJ Red Alert, Run DMC, and KRS-One. The funds attained by Sen. Gillibrand, Sen. Schumer, and Rep. Bowman will go toward the construction of the facility, as well as K-12 educational programming.
The lawmakers were also joined by New York State Senator José M. Serrano, New York Senator Jamaal Bailey, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, former Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., former Peekskill Mayor and hip hop artist Andre Rainey, KRS-One, G. Simone, Roxanne Shanté, Grandmaster Flash, Eric B., and Grand Wizzard Theodore.
“The Bronx has historically been a creative incubator, nurturing so many genres of music ranging from doo-wop to salsa, but few genres have left a greater mark than hip hop music,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “It is amazing to see that what started as a party in the basement of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue became a global phenomenon that spawned artists and entrepreneurs like Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Pitbull, and 50 Cent. With the 50th anniversary of hip hop right around the corner, I am proud to have secured funds to help the Universal Hip Hop Museum celebrate everything that is beautiful about hip hop culture.”
“Since its birth in the Bronx 50 years ago, Hip Hop culture has transcended language, race, age, in addition to geographic and socioeconomic barriers. It is a uniquely American art form that has become a global cultural movement. That’s why I’m so proud to deliver $5,000,000 to the Universal Hip Hop Museum, which will serve as the ‘Official Record of Hip Hop’,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “This museum will allow visitors from all around the world to come together in the Bronx and immerse themselves in Hip Hop culture of the past and present, as well as provide an important space for educational programs to empower our youth.”
“Hip Hop is a global movement that transcends beyond our borders. As a proud supporter of the creation of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, I am excited that there will be a cultural and artistic representation of Hip Hop’s profound impact on the world right here in this community,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16). “The $5 million in federal funding secured for the Universal Hip Hop Museum demonstrates a commitment to recognizing the historic contribution Hip Hop has made in this country. For people who were disconnected from their continent, from their language, from their culture, and from their ancestry, Hip Hop represents the rebirth of a civilization. The pioneers of Hip Hop created a vessel that grew to impact nearly every facet of American culture and this funding is only the start of prioritizing and honoring those in our country who have paved the way for many generations to come.”
“The Universal Hip-Hop Museum will serve as an important space for the preservation and celebration of Hip-Hop culture,” said New York State Senator José M. Serrano. “Born in the Bronx 50 years ago, the cultural phenomenon known as Hip-Hop has changed the world and influenced music globally. My sincere thanks to Senator Gillibrand, Senator Schumer, and our Congressional delegation for their support of this important cultural venue.”
“As a Bronx kid raised by hip hop, it’s an incredible moment to see hip hop’s global impact celebrated in this way. You can’t write the history of hip hop without The Bronx – the borough that gave birth to hip hop, cultivated its evolution, and inspired artists and lovers of hip hop across the world,” said New York State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “I want to thank Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand along with our Bronx Congressional delegation for securing this funding for the Universal Hip Hop Museum and The Bronx. Hip hop changed the culture, and now its impact will be celebrated with the world and countless future generations.”
“The Universal Hip Hop Museum focuses on the cultural phenomenon that started in my Bronx and celebrates a powerful musical genre that expanded the boundaries of contemporary style and touched the psyche of millions of listeners,” said Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx, 77th AD). “I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for helping to secure this $5 million federal investment in the Museum – it is an important contribution.”
“I am thankful to our federal partners for ensuring that the Bronx received the community investments they’ve been asking for,” said New York City Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “The $18.2 million dollars awarded to the Bronx will go a long way in addressing the needs of our community, especially when it comes to education and healthcare.”
“From cultural institutions to healthcare facilities and beyond, this $18.3 million is a significant federal investment in our Borough,” said Bronx Borough President Gibson. “I want to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as our Bronx members of the House of Representatives, for their advocacy to ensure the Bronx receives the necessary funding for patient-centered care, free legal aid, support for flood resiliency efforts, and our cultural institutions to continue to share information about the history and beauty of our Borough for years to come.”
Anchored in the borough that gave birth to the musical genre, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is the only state-chartered educational museum that is focused on preserving the genre’s deep musical history and celebrating the five elements of hip hop’s culture: emceeing, DJing, breakdancing, graffiti art, and knowledge. The Universal Hip Hop Museum, which broke ground in the South Bronx in May 2021, is slated to open in 2024.
The funds attained for the Universal Hip Hop Museum were part of the final omnibus funding package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Sen. Gillibrand, Sen. Schumer and Bronx representatives secured a total of $18,291,005 for projects across the borough, including educational programs at Hostos Community College of CUNY, improvements to health care access and facilities at Montefiore Medical Center and NYC Health + Hospitals – Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, and building construction at cultural centers like the New York Botanical Garden.