With the pandemic making it harder for us to celebrate life more closely with one another, the California-based skate shoe company Vans decided to create Channel 66, a weekday-only Livestream of assorted programming that showcases the creative subcultures of four of the most vibrant cities in North America: New York City, Chicago, Mexico City (with its programming in Spanish), and Los Angeles.
As noted per the company’s official press release, “As distance and separation from others has become an unfortunate reality for everyone across the world, Vans strives to cultivate Channel 66 as a place where audiences from all walks of life can come together to find inspiration.”
Airing only Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST, the project was launched on February 8, and it was so named as a reference to the year Vans was officially created, 1966. The current schedule shows there’ll be a variety of media to keep viewers entertained and informed.
“Chessboxing with GZA” is where you can see Wu-Tang‘s “The Genius” play chess versus invited guests as they discuss a wide array of topics. Or there’s “PUBLIC ACCESS: UCANSKATE,” where Mexico City’s Oyuki Matsumoto deejays a two-hour set that can include anything from 50 Cent to KRS-One.
Then there are other shows that plan to sink their teeth into some meatier topics, such as Afropunk Channel: Interference. The two-hour biweekly program will present “Black stories, voices, and news amplified for intersectional, BIPOC, audiences who dare to question the status quo.”
More artists from the participating cities are scheduled to be guests and DJs for Channel 66, like Windy City native Vic Mensa, NYC rapper Action Bronson, and L.A. songwriter Duckwrth. And local haunts will also get to join the fun, including restaurants, performance spaces, and indy labels. Finally, each Friday night, the channel will close out the week with live dance sets for the fans.