Photo: Instagram/@kurtisblow
  /  12.23.2019

The State of New York has awarded a $3.5 million capital grant toward the first museum dedicated to hip hop music and culture. According to the New York Post, the Universal Hip Hop Museum will open its doors in the South Bronx in 2023, commemorating hip hop’s 50th anniversary.

Besides the grant, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday (Dec. 19), LL Cool J, Nas, Microsoft and MIT will support the project. The outlet also reports that the city has generated $6.5 million toward the museum.

“Our mission is to use technology of today to tell this story of the history of hip hop,” museum Co-Founder Kurtis Blow told PIX11 News. “We’re talking avatars and holograms and virtual reality, and another thing is interaction with the kids.”

The museum will host interactive exhibits where attendees can DJ, record their own music and make graffiti art. Last year, Public Enemy founder Chuck D was named as Chairman of the Celebrity Board for the museum.

“The credibility he brings to our team is mammoth,” Kurtis had said at the time in a press release. “He also understands the importance of the UHHM and vows to let the world know via a star-studded celebrity board in the near future. Flame on!”

The Universal Hip Hop Museum is expected to stimulate tourism and tax revenue in the borough.

“The grant from Governor Andrew Cuomo is a testament to the cultural and economic development importance of the Universal Hip Hop Museum to the borough of the Bronx and the state of New York,” the museum’s Executive Director Rocky Bucano said.

“The museum is part of the renaissance of the Bronx,” Bucano continued. “The Bronx is coming back. But the museum will be of the people and for the people.”

The project will cost $80 million in total and is expected occupy 50,000 sq. ft. in Bronx Point. The development’s official groundbreaking will take place next summer, which will also see the beginning of celebratory pop-up events.

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