The Hip-Hop Hopscotch Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia is billed as a "celebration of urban arts," but should graffiti have a place in the festivities?
The festival's art component has drawn the ire of Councilwoman Linda Mosher, the head of her municipality's graffiti task force. According to the Chronicle Herald, Mosher "supports the aim of the post-Labour Day fete — celebrating youth and urban culture — but feels artistic expression promoted by organizers is too close for comfort on the graffiti front."
The worries persist despite organizers' efforts to increase accessibility and foster a family-friendly atmosphere. According to Metro News Canada, "the festival is even more kid-friendly this year: The DJ Olympics, a 13-year event now connected with Hopscotch, is going to be all ages for the first time."
Mosher held an "intervention" meeting in April with other members of the municipal staff about the presence of graffiti at this year's festival. Municipal staffer Billy Comer said that "It’s only legal artwork that will be happening at this event."
While Mosher's concern seems to lie largely with illegal tagging, some commentators have expressed skepticism; ARTINFO linked to the story with the headline, "Hip-Hop Art Scares Canadians." Mosher stated that she likes and listens to hop-hop but opposes the focus on urban art, telling the Chronicle Herald that "If it has to have an art component, I don’t see how narrowing it to urban art is helpful. I think that they should invite all types of artistic expression."
Do you think the graffiti component is important in an urban arts festival, or do the risks outweigh the benefits? Vote below.
Can graffiti actually be helpful in communities? The video below presents one view: