By Published: Sept. 16, 2019

Museum of Boulder teams up with CU Boulder faculty to host rooftop dance party 

The Museum of Boulder is joining forces with the University of Colorado Boulder RAP Lab and Theater & Dance Department to bring The Museum of Boulder Event: Hip-Hop on the Rooftop to the Boulder museum on Sept. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. 

Ondine Bradley

Ondine Geary, at left performing, and Adam Bradley. At the top of the page is Australian hip-hop artist Nelson Dialect.

The event, which features Australian rapper and DJ Nelson Dialect and hip-hop dance pioneers Rennie Harris and Larry Southall, aims to provide Boulder’s thinkers and artists a space to party, dance and network on the museum’s rooftop at sunset. 

“Hip-hop is a unifying force,” says Adam Bradley, English professor, Museum of Boulder board member, founder of CU Boulder’s Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture—better known as the RAP Lab—and an organizer of the event. “The museum helps us celebrate the spirit of the community, and that’s what Hip-Hop on the Rooftop is all about.” 

During the event, Dialect will play new and classic hip-hop, reflecting both hip-hop’s past and its future. 

Dialect is in his second year of a three-year residency in the United States, during which he has spent time in New York recording music, and in Boulder working closely with Bradley and the RAP lab. 

The two have known each other since Dialect was launching his career over seven years ago, and their collaboration sprang from a shared connection over Dialect’s old school vision of hip-hop. Dialect will perform “music that makes you want to move, music that will be familiar and music that speaks to our global reality of living on a hip-hop planet,” according to Bradley.

Bradley hopes the event helps communities who love hip-hop, dance, or who are just curious about either, to gather and enjoy the art forms together.

Bradley worked with Ondine Geary, the outreach and engagement liaison for the Theater & Dance Department, along with Erika Randall, the chair of the department, to launch the event. 

If you go
What: Hip-Hop on the Rooftop
Where: Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway
When: Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m.
Tickets: $15, includes a complimentary drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic

Geary found the museum’s rooftop to be a beautiful and culturally significant setting and had a vision of a dance party there. Bradley was the perfect person for Geary to partner with to make the event a reality, she says. Geary believes that realizing her vision will raise the visibility of Boulder’s vibrant hip-hop community, and deepen ties between the hip-hop community and the broader dance and art communities. 

Hip-Hop on the Rooftop “feels like a really rich partnership with a lot of potential for a fun and engaging starting point for something more,” says Geary. 

“We hope to achieve what hip-hop at its best achieves,” Bradley concludes, “both knowledge and entertainment, both an emerging political awareness and a party.”