Music, Race & Social Justice Visiting Artist Series

Founded in Fall 2020, this series is presented by the Metropolitan State University of Denver Department of Music with support from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The MSU Denver Department of Music, with support from The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, presents the Visiting Artist Series on Music, Race, & Social Justice. Organized by Dr. Elizabeth McLean Macy, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Faculty Fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, this series highlights the work of BIPOC musicians, performers, and scholars.



Artist Residency with Aisha Fukushima, RAPtivist

RAPtivist Aisha Fukushima wearing a black jacket and cap dancing with hands in the air

Artist Residency with Aisha Fukushima

Music, Race, & Social Justice Visiting Artist Series
Black World Conference: A Symposium on Black Love/Black Joy
Wednesday, February 21
King Center Recital Hall
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Free and Open to the Public

Keynote Performance Lecture
Wednesday, February 21
King Center Recital Hall
7:30pm, Free and Open to the Public

Aisha Fukushima is a Performance Lecturer, Justice Strategist, Singer/Songwriter, and RAPtivist (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a hip hop project spanning 20 countries and four continents, amplifying universal efforts for freedom and justice. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman who has done lectures and performances everywhere from the United States to France, Morocco, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark and beyond. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured on Oprah Magazine, TEDx, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE, South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine, and Tour highlights include performing for audiences of over 20,000 people in Nepal, speaking with the President of Estonia about the power of music to create change, and sharing stages with the likes of Bernie Sanders, Angela Davis, Emory Douglas (Black Panthers), KRS-One, Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, The Isley Brothers, and M1 (Dead Prez). As a public speaker, Aisha combines the art of performance and lecture. In my keynotes she links themes such as hip hop, global citizenship, empowerment, feminism and cultural activism through storytelling as well as live musical performance.

The Black World Conference is presented by the Department of Africana Studies, Music at MSU Denver, Department of English, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Vocal Coalition Youth Choirs

white text on black background, "Voco 19, Black Music Matters 2024, A free concert event for Denver presented by Voqal, February 29, 2024, 7:30 pm, King Center, Auraria Campus"

Music, Race, & Social Justice Visiting Artist Series
Vocal Coalition Youth Choirs
Black Music Matters
Thursday, February 29
King Center Concert Hall
7:30 pm, Free and Open to the Public

Vocal Coalition Youth Choirs (VOCO) is proud to present Black Music Matters 2024, a spectacular collaboration between an extraordinary lineup of local musical legends and youth voices from across the Mile High City. BMM 2024 is more than a free musical concert event; it’s a triumphant celebration of the power of the human voice.

Gospel sensations Spirit of Grace selected this year’s theme, Inside Out, with the aim of deepening appreciation for the ingenious ways Black people have brought their inner emotions and lived experiences out into the world through music. Through anthems, spirituals, gospel, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and more, we want everyone, especially youth, to leave with a belief in the world-changing power of their voice.

In Conversation: AAPI Representation in Music and the Arts


pink face with orange eyes mural on wall

In Conversation: AAPI Representation in Music and the Arts
Wednesday, April 10
The Emmanuel Art Gallery
4:30pm Happy Hour, 5:30pm Panel Conversation and Q&A

Annie Guo VanDan, Asian Avenue Magazine (moderator)
Junelle Gabrielle Flores, Actor, Singer, Dancer, Musician (MSU Denver Class of 2023)
Wilbur Lin, Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) & The Colorado Symphony (CSO)
Courtney Ozaki, Japanese Arts Network
Ratha Sok, Visual Artist

presented by
The Department of Music’s Music, Race, & Social Justice Visiting Artist Series and The Colorado Symphony
with Central City Opera, The College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, CMEI, the MSU Denver Asian Studies Program, and University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Asian Studies

RSVP at the Colorado Symphony Orchestra website.

Lead Guitar Denver Showcase

Music, Race, and Social Justice Visiting Artist Series
Lead Guitar Denver Showcase
Monday, April 29
St. Cajetan’s Church
6:30 pm, Free and Open to the Public

Lead Guitar is a national non-profit organization that partners with public schools to establish free in-school guitar ensemble classes. Lead Guitar provides partner schools with a culturally responsive guitar curriculum, weekly co-teaching from a team of Teaching Artists, and professional development for music teachers. The Denver Showcase Concert features student performances from Lead Guitar programs in local Denver elementary, middle, and high schools. A capstone experience like the Showcase Concert provides students in a Lead Guitar ensemble class the opportunity to realize learning objectives, such as following a conductor, exhibiting poise and self-confidence, and applying teamwork skills to execute a challenging performance.

Past Livestreams from the Music, Race, and Social Justice Visiting Artist Series

Check out past livestreams from the series or revisit your favorites.

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