John Harrington | St. Louis Public Radio

John Harrington

Katarra Parson released 'Cocoa Voyage' last November.
Tyler Small

If St. Louis singer and songwriter Katarra Parson had to pick one of her songs to describe her life, it would be “Phoenix Rising.”

She appreciates the song because it's about flight, freedom and rebirth — the story of how she learned to take care of herself.

“'Phoenix Rising' is literally my journey of finding myself, of finding my power, stepping into that power, being comfortable with that power,” Parson said. “Now I'm at a point where I realized I got responsibility with that power.”

John Harrington has led local hip-hop group Midwest Avengers for 25 years, in addition to being a longtime organizer of annual graffiti festival Paint Louis. 8/29/18
Courtesy Midwest Avengers

A new St. Louis hip-hop festival will go beyond the music and celebrate the culture that surrounds it, including art, film and dance.

The four-day series of events dubbed Hip Hop Week will coincide with Paint Louis, an annual gathering of hundreds of graffiti artists from around the world who will paint murals on the flood wall by South Wharf St. downtown.

“If I say Hip Hop Week, most people will think of it as: ‘Oh, it’s a music festival.’ And [they’re] not thinking of other elements of hip-hop — such as the fashion, such as the film, such as the culture of hip-hop,” said Dwight Carter, a local event promoter who is the festival’s creative director.