Our client, The Universal Hip Hop Museum, which started two years ago as a “virtual” museum, will break ground in 2019 on a new 60,000 square foot facility in the birthplace of hip hop. The museum will open to the public in 2021, just a few blocks from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
UHHM was founded by hip hop pioneers Kurtis Blow, Ice-T, Shawn LG Thomas, Grand Wizard Theodore, among others, and is led by executive director Rocky Bucano. The museum will be the anchor of L+M Development Partners’ new megaproject, Bronx Point, on the South Bronx waterfront.
The museum will teach the world about the five key elements of hip hop culture (emceeing, turntablism, break-dancing, graffiti, and knowledge) and document the rise of hip hop from its creation on the streets of the Bronx to become the world’s most popular music genre. With archives, artifact exhibits, interactive and immersive displays, performances, film screenings, and classes, museum visitors will be able to dive into hip hop culture, discover its founders, practice their dance moves and emcee skills, and experience first-hand how and why hip hop became a worldwide cultural phenomenon.
UHHM’s mission extends beyond the museum. UHHM has also founded an international educational organization called Generation Hip Hop to teach underprivileged youth around the world about science, technology, music, art, culture, self-expression, entertainment, and entrepreneurship using hip hop-centric materials and curriculum. UHHM also produced and distributed its first original hip hop compilation album, 16 Bars 4 Hip Hop, in December 2017 (available on iTunes and Spotify).
UHHM and Proskauer enjoy a natural partnership. Proskauer’s tax-exempt, corporate, entertainment, real estate, and intellectual property expertise serve all of UHHM’s needs. Proskauer partner David Miller and paralegal Carrie Slaton obtained UHHM’s charter and tax-exempt status. Partner Alex Kaplan and associate Anya Kreimerzak worked on the artist contracts for the album, associate Bela Amladi helped on intellectual property, and special real estate counsel Audrey Bender, associate Ellie Krausova, associate Danielle Skolnik, senior counsel Paul Polking, associate Jennifer Yang, and partner Chris Pennington helped on real estate matters.
Proskauer always basks in the successes of its clients. UHHM’s super success was even more rewarding because UHHM will be the first and only hip hop museum in the city, and it is a pro bono client.