By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Ten years ago, when the Musical Instrument Museum opened, the first signature event was centered around hip-hop. To mark the decade anniversary, the MIM is returning to the genre.

“Celebrate Hip-Hop” runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, January 18, and Sunday, January 19, and features beat-making and hip-hop dance workshops, street art demonstrations and performances combining street-style dance and live DJ sets. 

“We thought it was kind of fitting to start the 10th year anniversary and bring that full circle,” says Ryan Borden, the MIM’s public programs manager. 

Contributing to the activities will be AZ Beat Lab and Samuel Pena. 

“He’s a good friend of the museum,” Borden says. “He’s been here before in several different capacities.”

Jukebox Dance Studio in Downtown Mesa will lead a dance workshop. The Furious Styles Crew is slated to perform and curate a concert. 

“We have one performance slot,” Borden says. “Like all of our programs—cultural or artist-themed—there’s so much more to that theme than we’re able to dig into and uncover in the span of a weekend. 

“Edson ‘House’ Magaña is really talented and is originally a b-boy himself. He’s a lecturer at the Herberger School for the Arts at ASU. He is really tapped into what’s going on in the underground around here. We’re fortunate he was willing to help us put this program together.”

Such and Champ Styles will guide guests through their creative process and share their experiences as graffiti and street artists both days.

“Such and Champ Styles are going to do a live mural for us,” Borden says. “We’re going to have it on display in our education room for the rest of the year. 

“They did a live mural for us years ago. They also painted the backdrop to our hip-hop display in our galleries. They’ve had continued involvement in our museum, We’re happy to have them back.”

On Saturday only, the MIM will screen the film “American Beatboxer” from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The film tells the story of the first American Beatbox Championships in 2010. 

All of the activities are included with general admission and, Borden says, it’s perfect for all ages. 

“We’re been doing a really good job of bringing aspects of music making and dance to the MIM,” Borden says. “We’re getting various institutions involved so we have deep, meaningful cultural value.”


Photo Booth

9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Have your picture taken with musical props at MIM’s photo booth, and get your own copy.

“American Beatboxer”

10:30 a.m. to noon (Saturday only)

Discover the evolution and competition of beatbox culture with a screening of American Beatboxer, an award-winning feature documentary film about the first American Beatbox Championships in 2010.

Spoken Word Lecture and Demonstration

10:30 to 11:15 a.m. (Sunday only)

Join Phonetic Spit director Tomas J. Stanton in “From the Margins to the Core,” an interactive journey through the history of spoken word poetry. Experience this lyrical art form firsthand from Phoenix’s premiere spoken word ensemble dedicated to youth empowerment and social change.

Live Art Demonstration

10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Watch artists Such and Champ Styles paint a hip-hop-influenced artwork from start to finish. Stop by at 2 p.m. to hear Such and Champ discuss their work with guests in a special Artist Encounter!

Beat-Making Workshop

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Hip-hop music needs a beat, so come create your own with Samuel Peña and the educators from AZ Beat Lab in this drop-in music-making session.

Dance Workshop

1:15 to 2 p.m.

Bust a move in this hip-hop dance workshop with instructors from Jukebox Dance Studio, led by co-directors Leah Roman and Rae Rae.

Artist Encounter: Such and Champ Styles

2 to 2:30 p.m.

Artists Such and Champ Styles will guide you through their creative process and share their unique experiences as graffiti and street artists.

Music and Dance Showcase

2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

This captivating performance showcase combines street-style dance forms, live DJ sets, and more, all curated by long-time hip-hop community mainstay Edson “House” Magaña and Furious Styles Crew.

Hip Hop-Themed Extras Available for Purchase

During Café Allegro lunch hours, enjoy a stylistic menu featuring fun dishes such as turkey with spinach soup, chicken and beet salad, blended beef burger with beans, and crumble cake for dessert.

Shop the Museum Store for gifts inspired by hip-hop, as well as a selection of music and books for adults and children.