Toni Blackman is an award-winning artist whose steadfast work and commitment to hip hop led the U.S. State Department to select her as an American Cultural Specialist and one of the first Hip Hop Envoys.
Throughout her career, Blackman has traveled to 44 countries performing, speaking and teaching. She has been honored as a DOVE Real Woman for her work building the self-esteem of girls, is an Echoing Green Fellow, an Open Society Institute/Soros Fellow and has received many other accolades. Toni has shared the stage with musical artists including Erykah Badu, Wu Tang Clan, Medeski Martin & Wood, Me'Shell NdegeoCello, Youssou Ndour and many more, as well as poetry legends including Nikki Giovanni, Billy Collins, Miguel Algarin, Sekou Sundiata, Haki Madhubuti.
Earlier this year Toni received the Osceola Macarthy Award for Excellence in the Arts from Delta Sigma Theta, Westchester. She is the author of Inner-Course, a collection of poetry and inspirational prose, released on Villard/Random House and now available on her site. Her new book, Wisdom of the Cypher, will be released in 2019, and she is working with a label to release and distribute her hip-hop meditation music. Toni is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU’s School of Music and Performing Arts and the first hip-hop music education scholar to hold the position in Music Education.
This year at Loop, Toni will host a workshop and a Music Improv Session for vocalists who’d like to improve their lyrical and improvising skills and build confidence in their delivery.