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The Kennedy Center

Omar Offendum



Biography

Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American rapper / poet living in Los Angeles. Known for his unique blend of Hip-Hop & Arabic poetry, he’s been featured on prominent world news outlets, lectured at a number of prestigious academic institutions, collaborated with major museums & cultural organizations on several high-profile projects, and helped raise millions of dollars for various humanitarian relief groups. A graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, he’s been able to carve a distinct path for himself as a thoughtful entertainer / activist able to speak to a multitude of relevant issues & diverse global audiences over the course of his decade-long career.

Watch Past Performances

Video 8/26/2018: The Beat That Binds Us: A multi-genre performative and visual piece curated by the 2018-2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows

By combining elements of spoken word verse, hip hop, dance, visual art & instrumentation, The Beat That Binds Us explores the connectivity of Americans by using the body as a metaphor, with emphasis on its health and vitality dependent on the syncopated rhythm of its heartbeat. Through creating content that explores social norms and behaviors, this performance will investigate the barriers that create disease or disharmony in an increasingly divisive nation, and will unpack what we can do to move forward together as a functioning, beating heart.

About the Performers: The Kennedy Center, a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, honors our 35th President everyday by uplifting ideals from his legacy (service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude) that live through the arts. As part of this celebration of legacy, the Kennedy Center launched the "Citizen Artist Fellow Recognition" in 2016, which celebrates emerging artists across the country who utilize their art form for positive impact on communities. Through a year-long engagement with the Kennedy Center, Citizen Artist Fellows develop and strengthen connections in their fields, receive opportunities for artistic collaboration and presentation, and gain access to Kennedy Center Staff and Artistic Partners for individual professional development.

Video 10/28/2017: Amplify Peace: Saving Syrian Lives

Saving Syrian Lives is a multi-genre tour featuring Arab American artists Omar Offendum, Bassel and the Supernaturals, Kayem, and Ronnie Malley and Turath Ensemble. The tour, sponsored by the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), aims to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and help gather support and resources to save the lives of Syrians affected by war.

Omar Offendum