Black History Month programming starts on the first day of this month, Friday, February 1, at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for Arts + Culture. Journalist Mary Curtis will join Dr. John Fleming, curator of “America I AM”, to share the inspiration and pathway to creation for this popular exhibit, held over through March 3, 2013.
On Saturday, February 2 at 12:30 p.m., UNC-Charlotte’s Dance Department presents “Dance for Everybody: A Community Dance Workshop” with the renown dance troupe, Urban Bush Women from Brooklyn, NY.
Another event this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. is “The Sounds of Africa” with Master Drummer Freddie “Ayinde” Rivera, sharing West African techniques.
A precursor to the appearance of the Broadway musical, “FELA!” at the Blumenthal Center will be a panel discussion entitled “FELA: From Abeokuta to Broadway” and a dance party on Friday, February 15, starting at 6:00 p.m.
The panel will be moderated by Dr. Amadou Shakur and will include Dr. Akin Ogundiran, chair of the UNC-Charlotte Africana Studies Department, Obakunle Akinlana, who will explain the orishas (deities) who appear in Act 2 of “FELA!”, and Ghanaian Master Drummer Okyerema Asante, who knew Fela personally. After the panel, a “I heart Fela” party with Jasiatic will end the evening’s festivities.
Black History Month programming at the Gantt Center will encompass dance workshops, movies, lectures and storytelling for audiences of all persuasions. Weekly programs will include “Sankofa Circle”, a storytelling and interactive activity for children, and “Documentaries @ Gantt” with film screenings and discussions. A drumming circle and writing workshops with the Carolina African-American Writers' Collective are also on tap.
The Gantt Center will have extended hours in February, remaining open until 8 pm every Tuesday.
Visit the Gantt Center website for more information.