Nas, DJs and Graffiti: Is the Kennedy Center Cool Now?

"I think to do something very current is important," Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser says. This season that means a hip-hop festival. 

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Nas (Getty Images)

Alongside its traditional opera, ballet and theater offerings, Washington, D.C.'s historic Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will soon feature something that President Michael Kaiser describes as an effort to "speak to many different audiences": a weeklong festival, "One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide," slated for the 2013-2014 season.

The event, which will open with Nas rapping with musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra on music from his debut album, Illmatic, will also feature Puerto Rican musicians Calle 13 and a graffiti exhibition, according to the Associated Press.

Well, that's definitely something new. And we're all for it. The center's willingness to step into nontraditional territory to keep up with the times -- and an increasingly diverse population -- sounds like a win for its image and for audiences. "Hip-hop is clearly something new and different for us," Kaiser said. "I think to do something very current is important."

Read more at the Wall Street Journal. 

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