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20 Years of MoPOP: Pop Conference Engages Music Community

Janelle Monáe at MoPOP's Pop Conference in 2010

To celebrate 20 years of the Museum of Pop Culture, we're highlighting 20 of the most notable moments from MoPOP's history. For our nonprofit museum's seventh milestone, we're highlighting Pop Conference.


The annual MoPOP Pop Conference, first held in 2002 and annually ever since, mixes ambitious discourse with a unique mix of academics, critics, musicians, and dedicated fans, brought together in collective conversation by the love of music to share their high-quality work with an unusually engaged community. Open to the public, participants who live and breathe pop music engage each other and audiences with work that epitomizes intellectual insight, creative risk, and stylistic experimentation.

This year’s conference, focused on popular music and youth across generations, is being reimagined as an online conference to be held over three weeks in mid-late September. Leading up to the virtual event this fall, MoPOP has been hosting a series of virtual teaser events centered around the Pop Con 2020 theme "Forever Young."

Preview content this year has included panel discussions reflecting on the limit case—if ever—of our presence in youth culture and pop scenes; an exploration of the songs that stay stuck in our heads from youth; and a deconstruction of the late Little Richard by a panel of musicians, scholars, DJs and writers discussing the self-appointed originator, emancipator, and architect of rock ‘n roll.

Stay tuned to MoPOP.org/PopCon for more info on this year's presentation schedule!


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The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.

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