Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chess + Hip Hop: Bum Rush the Boards

Words, Beats & Life is a DC based youth development non-profit that to teaches through the lens of hip hop culture. Although WB&L began on the College Park campus of University of Maryland, it's been operating as a non-profit in District for nearly 10 years. Much of their direct work with students done via DC Urban Arts Academy; an after-school program.

Words, Beats & Life will soon be hosting this event --Bum Rush the Boards-- a four day program that is part fundraiser, part hip hop showcase and part chess tourney. From the organizers:

"Words Beats & Life 7th Annual Bum Rush the Boards Hip-Hop Chess Festival

Bum Rush the Boards, the world's first hip-hop chess tournament, was created to combat exclusion, connect theory to practice, and inspire excellence. It is a celebratory common ground for chess, hip-hop culture, and S.T.E.M.A. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math & the Arts).

There is an often unseen connection between chess, hip-hop, and academics: the necessity of critical thinking. Whether it is hip-hop's social critique, chess's reliance on forethought, or academia's need for analysis, all three help reinforce a culture of making connections, building skills, and planning for the future.

This year’s festival will begin with Beats & Blogs: Happy Hour, a networking opportunity for local bloggers, culture and event writers; held at Liv Nightclub. The chess tournament will consist of 3 rounds of team-based tournament play for youth, ages 5-23, as well as an individuals tournament. The festival will conclude with the Top Notch 2v2 B-Boy/B-Girl Jam. For more information or to register for Bum Rush the Boards, go to

Thursday April 19
Beats and Blogs: Happy Hour
6-8 p.m., LIV, 2001 11th Street N.W.
Featuring: DJ Wonder Mike
$10 General Admission; $7 if wearing “Beats by Dre” headphones

Philanthrobeat: The Wu-Tang Edition
8 p.m.-midnight, LIV 2001 11th Street N.W.
Featuring: DJ RBI, DJ Eskimo, DJ Alizay, DJ 2-Tone Jones
and live paint with Aniekan Udofia
$10 Admission

Friday April 20
Clash of the Kings Concert
Hosted by: DJ Heat
7-11 p.m., St. Stephens, 1525 Newton St. N.W.
$10 Admission

Saturday April 21
Bum Rush the Boards Chess Tournament
10 a.m.-4 p.m., Columbia Heights Recreation Center, 1480 Girard St. N.W.
$10 Registration Fee;
Registration closes on April 19

Sunday April 22
Top Notch: 2 vs. 2 B-Boys & B-Girls Battle
4-10 p.m., The Atlas Theatre, 1333 H St. N.E.
$3,500 in prizes available

SPONSORS: Words Beats & Life, Columbia Heights Youth Club, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities"