Every year, First Wave students and faculty present the Line Breaks Festival, bringing artists together to create an assembly of multicultural performances. This showcase represents the unique investigation and collaboration of contemporary hip hop and interdisciplinary performance art.

This year’s showcase will be held April 1 and 2 and features outstanding performances open to people in the Madison area for free. There is something for everyone — the schedule includes live bands and music, musical theater production, dance production, a recycled materials fashion show and many other engaging performances. Register before April 1 to be a part of this remarkable event.

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First Wave is a four-year scholarship program at the University of Wisconsin where students apply, and upon acceptance, enroll in a class cohort that facilitates their passions with creatives alike. First Wave pillars the three A’s — arts, activism and academics. The program instills that First Wave students develop these values throughout their studies at UW and onwards into their careers.

Puerto Rican actor, director and author Karl Michael Iglesias is originally from Milwaukee, WI, and is an alumnus of the second cohort of First Wave at UW. He will serve as the program’s Interim Creative Director. Iglesias has worked with artists such as Mac Miller, Anderson Paak, Chance The Rapper, Ludacris, Wale and Kendrick Lamar, and is also an accomplished poet.

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“This program is very unique when it comes to the nation and when it comes to academia in general,” Iglesias said. “There’s just no opportunity quite like it — that really mixes the arts, the activism and our academics together. It’s been a beautiful, organic program that has been growing and has survived the pandemic.”

For most of the current First Wave students, this will be the first line breaks they get to experience. It is special because the festival will bring together all First Wave generations, according to Iglesias.

“We also have a lot of alumni coming back this weekend, as well as our new cohort that we’re welcoming in as well,” Iglesias said. “So, past, present and future will all be here and in Madison at the same time.”

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UW junior and member of First Wave’s 13th cohort Azura Tyabji will be presenting a touring piece at the Line Breaks Festival, which is a performative display of collaborative poetry.

“I’m excited for it because it gives us a chance to weave all these poems together into a narrative,” Tyabji said. “I really like pushing what I thought was possible for my art, and learning a lot about theater and being introduced to those formats and those ideas.”

This is an opportunity for all First Wavers and students at UW to convene and celebrate one another, Tyabji said.

“It’s gonna be beautiful,” Tyabji said. “And it’s going to, I think, set into momentum for even bigger Line Breaks next year. It feels like a phoenix rising.”

For ticket information, click here.