Milwaukee Prepares to Celebrate Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary in a Major Way with TRUE Skool’s Summer Park Jam

Milwaukee native Speech with progressive Hip Hop group Arrested Development, iconic rapper Wordsworth announced as headliners of celebration

MILWAUKEE (July 12, 2023) – TRUE Skool and Marcus Performing Arts Center (MPAC) have unveiled their plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop’s creation with an incredible two-day celebration in Downtown Milwaukee.

Now in its fifth year, the 2023 Summer Park Jam will take place August 11-12 at the MPAC Outdoor Grounds and will highlight and celebrate all elements of Hip Hop culture. This landmark event in the history of Milwaukee Hip Hop culture will feature Milwaukee’s own Speech with his Grammy Award-winning group, Arrested Development along with renowned author and iconic rap lyricist Wordsworth.

Fidel Verdin, Co-Executive Director at TRUE Skool, stated, “Hip Hop Culture embodies both education and entertainment, often referred to as ‘Edutainment,’ as well as entrepreneurship. Our Summer Park Jam weekend encapsulates all of these elements.”

On Friday, August 11, the exact date of Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary, the Summer Park Jam, the festivities will kick off with the “CEO Sessions,” a collection of industry-level conversations and networking opportunities for local creative entrepreneurs and educators who are eager to elevate their craft. Renowned author and iconic rap lyricist, Wordsworth, and other professional artists such as cross-branding specialist and graphic designer, Makalya Binter, will provide invaluable tools and resources during this noon to 4pm event. Speakers from various media and music sectors are also set to grace the lineup with panels and pop-up workshops.

On Saturday, August 12, the Summer Park Jam continues at the Peck Pavilion on the MPAC Outdoor Grounds with an all-ages outdoor festival, including live performances, interactive activities, local vendors, a skateboarding area, live Graffiti Art, and Breakin’ competitions.

At 7:00pm, Hip Hop enthusiasts of all generations will be treated to a sensational performance by Milwaukee’s very own Speech with his Grammy Award-winning band, Arrested Development. The performance is free and open to the public.

“Hip Hop is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and guess what? I am coming back home to Milwaukee to celebrate this monumental occasion with all of you! There’s no better place to be than right here in Milwaukee,” exclaimed Speech (Todd Thomas), co-founder of Arrested Development and Milwaukee native, in an exclusive video. “Join Arrested Development and the incredible TRUE Skool Fam on Saturday, August 12th, at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts for an unforgettable 2023 Summer Park Jam!”

Jared Duymovic, MPAC Vice President of Programming and Engagement, expressed his excitement for this year’s Summer Park Jam: “This event is just the beginning of our year-long collaborative programming, which will honor different facets of Hip Hop cultural arts and education. The Marcus Performing Arts Center is thrilled to partner with TRUE Skool to provide opportunities for youth and families to be engage with our rich local arts community.”

The 2023 Summer Park Jam is presented by TRUE Skool with support from Marcus Performing Arts Center, Bader Philanthropies, Inc., Abacus Architects, Amanda’s Cookin’, Blick Art Materials, Automation Arts, Fund for Lake Michigan, and Office of Violence Prevention.

# # #

About Arrested Development
Legendary. 2 Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Rap Single (Tennessee), 2 MTV awards, a Soul Train Music Award, & the NAACP Image Award. Rolling Stone mag named them Band of The Year (1992), VH-1 named AD one of the greatest Hip-hop artists of all time! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named AD’s smash “Tennessee” one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. The definition of legends. Featuring Speech (Vocals/Sampler), JJ Boogie (Guitar), Will Montgomery (Drums), Fareedah Aleem (Dance/Vocals), April Allen (Vocals/Dance), 1 Love (Vocals/Sampler), Rick Benjamin (Bass), Jon Johnson (Keys).

About TRUE Skool
TRUE Skool, Inc. is Milwaukee’s Center for Transformative Creative Arts & Hip Hop Culture. Learn more:

About Marcus Performing Arts Center
A mission-based non-profit organization located in downtown Milwaukee, the Marcus Performing Arts Center (MPAC) brings high-quality arts and cultural programming to Southeastern Wisconsin. MPAC strives to act as an energizing force that connects the community to the world through collaboration, innovation, social engagement, and the transformative power of the performing arts. Through multiple performance series, community events, and educational experiences, MPAC brings a diverse range of celebrated artists to the region. A fixture in Milwaukee for over 50 years, MPAC is proud to be part of the Milwaukee Theater District as well as a dedicated War Memorial facility. Learn more at

Find more press releases HERE.