We Are First Wave

  1. coming before all others in time or order; earliest; 1st
  2. foremost in position, rank, or importance.
  1. move one's hand to and fro in greeting or as a signal.
  2. a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore
  3. a periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance that may be propagated without net movement of the particles, such as in the passage of undulating motion, heat, or sound.
  • Youth Speaks Wisconsin Teen Spoken Word Finals

    Youth Speaks Wisconsin Teen Spoken Word Finals

  • Hip Hop in the Hearltand Conference

    Hip Hop in the Hearltand Conference

  • Spoken Word Performance

    Spoken Word Performance at West High School


The First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community is a cutting-edge multicultural artistic program that offers competitive undergraduate scholarship recipients the opportunity to live, study and create together in a close-knit, dynamic campus community. 

Administered by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), the First Wave Learning Community is the first university program in the country centered on urban arts, spoken word and hip-hop culture.


  • 43 First Wave students have studied abroad representing all 8 cohorts - this totals 37% of all students who have received scholarships via First Wave.
  • First Wave students are published authors, nationally renowned and internationally ranked poets, rappers making noise on the underground, and community organizers. 

  • First Wave students and Alumni have received jobs and internships from the United States Embassy, The New York Knicks, Teach For America, Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam, and many more groundbreaking institutions.

First Wave at the Terrace


Early Registration: $400 

Early Registration (Groups of 5-9): $350 

Early Registration (Groups of 10+): $325

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