A3C Festival Develops Fund To Use Hip-Hop For Social Justice

The Lox is shown performing at the 2014 A3C event.
The Lox is shown performing at the 2014 A3C event.
Credit courtesy of A3C

In its 11th year, the A3C Festival and Conference continues to celebrate the diversity of and innovation in hip-hop across the country and the world.

This year, headliners like De La Soul, 2 Chainz and the Dungeon Family will grace A3C’s stages in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. There will also be a series of curated showcases that highlight some of the up-and-coming innovators in hip-hop today.

On the flip side of the concerts, A3C is also a conference where hip-hop fans can get an education in the industry. Along with the usual nuts-and-bolts talks on licensing, the panels feature a variety of topics like “Conscious Sexuality as a Remedy to Misogyny in Hip-Hop,” “How to Make Money: Revenue Streams Available to Artists” and “Hip-Hop in Canada.”

A3C has added some features to this year’s event. Rap battles are back, but director Mike Walbert said he is particularly excited about A3C Action. “We are looking for ideas to use hip-hop art and culture to engage people civically, you know, advance social justice,” he said.

A3C put out a call for organizations around the country and world to submit ideas. Out of 60 applications, the five finalists will be treated to travel, housing and networking opportunities at the festival. At the end of the week, one group will receive funding from A3C. With help from a community fundraising campaign and other charitable donations, Walbert estimated the fund to be more than $20,000.

“That’s our way of putting our money where our mouth is,” Walbert said. “A lot of people talk about doing good, and we’ve been victim of that. We really want to do good, and then we’re like, what did we do last year? So this is our way of saying, let’s do this.”

The A3C Festival and Conference takes place Wednesday to Sunday at various venues and locations in the Old Fourth Ward.

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