For more than 40 years hip hop music and culture has been an educational institution. Amid the slew of college courses dedicated to the genre, more educational institutions are taking the culture to higher levels of academia. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC has recently announced the inauguration of its Hip-Hop Culture Council.

The new initiative is designed to enrich the public’s knowledge on hip-hop through various activities, such as live events and movie screenings. “The Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture Council reflects the creative, social, and intellectual wealth of the Hip Hop community,” rapper Q-Tip, Artistic Director of Hip Hop Culture, said in statement. “The members are the embodiment of what we stand for and all that we aspire to achieve with the Hip Hop Culture program.”

Said members are comprised of a group of luminaries from across various sectors of hip-hop culture: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Bobbito García, Common, Fab 5 Freddy, Grandmaster Caz, Grant Hill, J.PERIOD, Jason King, Kierna Mayo, Large Professor, LL COOL J, MC Lyte, Mimi Valdés, Pharoahe Monch, Robert Glasper, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Xavier “X” Jernigan and 9th Wonder.

Part of the programming includes the showing of hip-hop’s first film, Wild Style directed by Charlie Ahearn, followed by a Q&A session, on March 16 at the Terrace Theater. Another film being shown is ROCK RUBBER 45san autobiographical take on hip-hop, sneakers and basketball, by veteran radio personality Bobbito, or Kool Bob Love as he is affectionately known. Other happenings include Between The World and Me, a live monologue-style event on April 7, where artists interpret different literary works of art and how they showcase the black struggle in American history.

“Being invited to be a founding member of the Hip Hop Culture Council bears a ton of responsibility” said Bobbito in a statement. “We will ensure that there is no compromise to the art form and that it is presented in all its wonder and beauty for all to enjoy.”

For more information on the Hip Hop Culture Council at the Kennedy Center visit here.