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Event Series Event Series: VersoFest 2024

VersoFest Visionary presented by Darcy Travlos: Musician, Activist, and Author Chuck D to Kick Off VersoFest 2024

Wed, April 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT


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VersoFest 2024 Schedule

Chuck D, leader and co-founder of legendary group Public Enemy and acclaimed hip hop icon, social activist, author, film producer, and digital music pioneer, will discuss his life, work, and recent graphic novel with Akashic Books publisher Johnny Temple in the VersoFest 2024 Kickoff Conversation presented by Darcy Travlos.

Local media host, entrepreneur, and music executive June Archer will introduce Chuck D. Tickets purchased in advance of the show are $50 and available at the link above. If there are any seats remaining, tickets will be sold for $60 at the door.

Pre-signed copies of Chuck D's new book, STEWdio: The Naphic Grovel ARTrilogy of Chuck D, will be sold at the event.

Chuck D first rose to acclaim in the 1980s with a string of critically lauded and commercially successful albums that addressed weighty issues about race, rage, and inequality. Present day, The New York Times has named Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back to their list of the “25 Most Significant Albums of the Last Century,” and in 2005, The Library of Congress added Fear of a Black Planet to their National Recording Registry.

In 2013, Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., began curating its archive, the group was asked to donate iconic items from their history. In 2020, Public Enemy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the GRAMMYs, and this year, “Fight The Power” was named #2 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2021 list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (which also included “Bring The Noise”).

In June 2016, Chuck D debuted Prophets of Rage, a new “supergroup” with former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk, plus Cypress Hill’s B-Real and DJ Lord of Public Enemy.

Ever the media polymath, Chuck D is also a visual artist whose work has been shown in galleries nationwide, a best-selling author (including 2017’s 300-page This Day In Rap and Hip Hop History), a highly sought-after speaker on the college lecture circuit, a prominent member of music industry nonprofit organizations MusicCares and Rock The Vote, and a record label founder of SpitSlam.

Chuck D also has served as national spokesperson for Rock The Vote, the National Urban League, the National Alliance of African American Athletes, and Hip Hop Public Health. In 2018, he was named the chairman of the Celebrity Board for the Universal Hip Hop Museum in New York.

In February 2020, Chuck D turned his gaze once again to the page and began to fill three 5x8 journals with his written and drawn reflections of a world beginning to unravel. The result is STEWdio: The Naphic Grovel ARTrilogy of Chuck D, which recreates the format of his original art, combining three full-color paperback bound books into a beautiful box set. The box set is the inaugural offering from Enemy Books, the new Akashic Books imprint curated by the artist and author himself.


About VersoFest

VersoFest is The Westport Library's annual music and media festival and conference, spanning five days from April 3 through April 7. Converging local with global, VersoFest has presented concerts with The Smithereens and Sunflower Bean, as well as events with renowned producer Steve Lillywhite, Norton Records/Kicks Books/Kicksville Radio co-founder and original Cramps drummer Miriam Linna, Alice Cooper Group Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dennis Dunaway, Psychedelic Furs frontman and painter Richard Butler, author and journalist Rachel Felder, and hip hop pioneer DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore.

Initial VersoFest 2024 luminaries include Legendary David Bowie, T. Rex, and Thin Lizzy music producer Tony Visconti, and electric power pop rockers The Lemon Twigs, with a full VersoFest schedule to be released in coming weeks.

All performances, panels, and workshops are free or at market rates with the generous support of donors, community partners, and Library programming funds.

More Resources...
Chuck D
History of Music


Wed, April 3
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
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The Trefz Forum, The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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