Professor Mark H. is the newly appointed faculty artistic director of UW–Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), home of the First Wave Hip Hop & Urban Arts Scholarship Program, OMAI announced on Wednesday.
“To have Professor Mark H. join our unit in this leadership capacity is a true honor,” OMAI Director Sofía Snow said in a statement. “First Wave is the first, and currently the only four-year full tuition scholarship for Hip Hop and urban arts in the country. To have a scholar, artist and educator like Professor H. at the helm of our program’s pedagogy and artistic curriculum is a dream come true. Mark’s field of research and expertise can only take OMAI and the First Wave Program to the next level.”
OMAI is housed in the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) and provides culturally relevant and transformative arts programming to promote positive social dialogue and to give cultural art forms a legitimate academic forum.
Professor H. is a director, performer, scholar and educator with a primary focus on physical theaters and American and African diasporic performance. For close to two decades, he has been a professional multidisciplinary theater artist, with a body of work ranging from the classical to the experimental, from text-based to physical and produced in performance spaces both traditional and unconventional, according to a press release from OMAI.
Professor Mark H. earned a BFA in Acting with High Honors from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at Columbia University. He is currently faculty in UW–Madison’s Department of Theatre and Drama. He said he is “thrilled to be entering into this new role as First Wave faculty artistic director.”
“The students in the program radiate brilliance. They have a profound awareness of themselves and the problems we all face, and are determined to boldly use their voices to speak, shout, rap and sing into existence the world they envision,” Mark H. said in a statement. “As a director, performer, scholar and educator with a primary focus on physical theaters and American and African diasporic performance, I look forward to using my particular expertise to assist in amplifying those voices and helping our young artist-scholars more freely and fully embody their ideas. Ultimately, the goal is to guide them towards reaching their fullest potential as human beings, as performers and as the leaders they already are.”