Hip-hop controversy leads to a Des Moines resignation
A Parks Area Foundation board member who helped schedule lineups for a free Des Moines summer music series resigned earlier this year after a disagreement about hip-hop performances.
Why it matters: Hip-hop's roots and prevalence lies within African American communities.
- The genre's absence at Rendezvous on Riverview (RoR) ignores the culture and identity of a large portion of the community, Tanner Briggs Faaborg, who is white, argued just before his March 7 resignation from the board.
Driving the news: Last month, Briggs Faaborg provided a two-page statement about his experience to the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition with a note to "feel free to distribute as you see fit."
- The letter details how he wanted to bring local hip-hop artist B.Well to RoR, which resulted in a heated exchange.
- He wrote that he was asked by some of the foundation's board members to resign shortly afterward and he obliged.
Of note: B.Well performed this year with the Des Moines Symphony at Yankee Doodle Pops and is scheduled to perform at the free community concert again next year.
The other side: There was discussion about a 2021 musical act — who was not B.Well — that used obscenities and disparaged police, Councilperson Linda Westergaard and Supervisor Tom Hockensmith told Axios Tuesday.
- Foundation members were discussing its contractual agreement with DSM to provide "family friendly" entertainment at Riverview.
- They contend that Briggs Faaborg refused to acknowledge their concerns.
State of play: Briggs Faaborg told Axios Tuesday that he has no hidden agenda other than to bring attention to the issue and help diversify future lineups.
- There was no audio or video recording of the meeting, Polk County and Des Moines city officials told Axios Tuesday.
- Next year's artists have not been announced.
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