2018 Academy of Funk

Photo by Marcia Kirton

Photo by Marcia Kirton


For the 3rd year in a row Funk Parade and Knowledge Commons DC organized a series of intersession discussions and interactive classes with a Funk Parade theme. 2018’s Academy of Funk explored the Politics, History, and Culture of Funk in DC, Funk Fashion and U. Street History. In addition to the classes, we co-hosted a #FunkPowered dance preview with the Kennedy Center at the Millennium Stage.   

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The Hunger Wall Poster and Wheat Pasting Workshop

MAY 2ND, 2018

Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Neighborhood Library

Inspired by the activism of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, which brought over 50,000 protestors to D.C. to demand an end to poverty, the DC Public Library created displays of posters by four local activist artists who use art as a tool for resistance and social justice: Nando Álvarez, Adrienne Gaither, Monolith and Justin Poppe (Co-Founders of the 411 Collective). 

Soka Tribe

Funk Powered Dance Preview

May 7th, 2018

Kennedy Center

While Funk Parade features close to 100 local artists and bands during, it also features dancers, dance collectives and troupes from throughout the city. That evening we took a trip through time and across cultures to preview a little piece of the vast array of dance performances the public would experience live at the 2018 Festival. These amazing performances were delivered by Soka Tribe and Urban Artistry.


Politics, History & The Culture of Funk in DC

May 8th, 2018

Thurgood Marshall Center

The panel included prominent members of D.C.’s funk and go-go music scenes, educators, activists, and curators. The panelists discussed a wide range of topics, including the history of U. Street and the significance of funk and go-go in D.C. culture. We invited all in attendance to take part in the insightful lead-up to the 5th Annual Funk Parade.


Fashion as Soft Power

May 9th, 2018

Local 16
From James Brown’s “Black and Proud” 1968 decision to abandon his signature conk for natural hair to Kiran Gandhi’s decision to “free bleed” at the 2015 London Marathon, fashion, music, and politics have always made powerful statements on the condition of humankind. A panel of experts explored examples of mainstream and grassroots movements influenced by musical artists who expressed political views through their personal style.

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Voices from U. Street:
a Reflection on Decades Past

MAY 10TH, 2018

Prince Hall Lodge

The Prince Hall Lodge welcomed in the U. Street neighborhood and the Funk Parade community for an evening of reflection and discussion about U. Street over the decades.

Our esteemed panel of authors, professors, civil rights leaders and long time U. Street residents shared their stories and reflections on a changing neighborhood dealing with gentrification, development and the need to preserve DC's cultural heritage.