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The University of North Carolina

UNC is one of the 16 public state Universities of North Carolina, specializing in medicine and law. At Moogfest 2017, we will be joined by Professor Mark Katz of UNC. Professor Katz teaches courses on music and technology, popular music, and modern art music. In 2011 he received an Innovation Grant from UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities to expand the scope and reach of university-level music pedagogy. One result of this grant was the creation of several new courses, including The Art and Culture of the DJ, Beat Making Lab, Rap Lab, and Rock Lab. Aimed at students without formal musical training, these courses introduce students to composition, performance, music history, entrepreneurship, and community engagement.

Since 2013, Katz has been awarded more than $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of State to create and run Next Level, a program that sends American hip-hop artists abroad to foster cultural exchange, conflict prevention, and entrepreneurship. Since 2014 the program has conducted workshops in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, and South America. Next Level, now jointly managed with Meridian International Center, will travel to Azerbaijan, Egypt, Morocco, Myanmar, and Vietnam in 2017–18. (Follow Next Level’s current global activities here.) His work in promoting the arts and music education in underserved communities has been recognized through awards from the Freedoms Foundation, the Hip-Hop Education Center, and Indy Weekly. In 2016, Katz was awarded Royal Musical Association’s Dent Medal, which credited him with taking “musicology and hip-hop studies in bold new directions, creating a model of exemplary and ethical scholarship that internationalizes the discipline in productive ways.”

A former chair of the Department of Music, Katz became Director of UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities in 2014.

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