Memory, Mixtape & Scholarship | Hip Hop at Virginia Union University

Hip Hop at VUU is dedicated to exploring African American history and culture through a Hip Hop lens. This exploration is seen through the development of courses, workshops, symposiums, and archives that help expose Virginia Union University students and the Richmond, VA community to the sonic, visual, and material culture of hip-hop to help us understand the meaning-making experiences of African American people.

Martha Diaz is an award-winning community organizer, media producer, archivist, curator, educator, and founder of the Hip-Hop Education Center. Diaz has traversed the Hip-Hop entertainment industry, the public arts and education sector, and the academy over the past 30 years. Through her exhibitions, and publications of research reports, books, and curricula, she has chronicled Hip-Hop history to preserve its cultural value and memory. A graduate of New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program, Diaz has worked on archival projects with Parkwood Entertainment (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter), Tupac Shakur Estate, and Paley Center for Media to name a few. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Virginia Union University, and Chair of Archives, Curatorial, and Educational Affairs at the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

Regan Sommer McCoy is a NYC-based curator and community archivist. Her career began working with Virginia Beach Hip Hip duo Clipse. She is founder and Chief Curator of The Mixtape Museum, an initiative that encourages the research, archiving, preservation, and data analysis of mixtapes. She is a Columbia University Community Scholar, a grantee of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and a charter member of the William & Mary Hip-Hop Collection. She’s currently a 2022 ARSC Research Grantee and her new article, “Mixtape Memories: Hip-Hop Community and Culture at NYC’s Mixtape Museum” appears in The ARSC Journal (2021).


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