Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Week ahead: Performances arriving or no longer in calendar, part 51

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Along with a few performances that are happening live with in-person audiences, below is an overview of performances that were to take place in Northeastern Wisconsin in the coming week. Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, the “was arriving,” etc. events are canceled or postponed.

TOTALS TO DATE

Since the performance cancellations and postponements started around March 12, 2020, in Northeastern Wisconsin, affected have been at least 1,031 public productions and at least 3,291 performances, not counting club, casino or other engagements.

Many organizations are canceling or postponing performances into April at least. In a normal year, the week ahead often would see live, in-person performances at or by Peninsula Players Theatre in Baileys Harbor, Fox Cities PAC in Appleton, UW-Green Bay Music, Meyer Theatre in Green Bay, The Forst Inn Arts Collective in Tisch Mills, The Grand Oshkosh, Daddy D Productions and Knights on Broadway in Green Bay, Brown County Civic Music Association in Green Bay, Resch Center in Ashwaubenon and Capitol Civic Centre in Manitowoc, among performances in other venues. The tallies above are mere shadows of performances influenced by the coronavirus.

IS ARRIVING

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater will continue its “Off-Stage Season” with “The Ins & Outs of Play Selection” online live at 7 p.m. March 4. Info: gbcommunitytheater.com. The troupe’s play selection committee discusses its process and takes questions.

– In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host “STEEM: Michael Bailey & Steve March Tormé” live and in person at 7:30 p.m. March 4. Info: meyertheatre.org. Michael Bailey, founding member Vic Ferrari, joins jazz/pop singer Steve March-Tormé with a three-piece horn section and a rhythm section to take on the music of Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The Beatles, Chicago, Hall & Oates, Steely Dan, Crosby, Stills & Nash and more.

– In Sturgeon Bay, Third Avenue Playhouse will continue its online reading series “PlayWorks 2021” with Dominique Morisseau’s “Sunset Baby” streamed live at 7 p.m. CST March 5. Admission free with registration required to receive a link; donations accepted. Info: thirdavenueplayhouse.com. The play is directed by Malkia Stampley. According to a press release: In the story, Kenyatta Shakur is alone. His wife has died, and this former Black Revolutionary and political prisoner is desperate to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Nina. If Kenyatta truly wants to reconcile his past, he must first conquer his most challenging revolution of all – fatherhood. The play “is an energized, vibrant and witty look at the point where the personal and political collide.” Dominique Morisseau is the author of “The Detroit Project,” a three-play cycle) that includes “Skeleton Crew” (Atlantic Theater Company), “Paradise Blue” (Signature Theatre) and “Detroit ’67” (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include “Pipeline” (Lincoln Center Theatre), “Sunset Baby” (LAByrinth Theatre); “Blood at the Root” (National Black Theatre) and “Follow Me to Nellie’s” (Premiere Stages). Morisseau is the Tony-nominated book writer on the Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations” (Imperial Theatre). Malkia Stampley is a director and actor born and raised in Milwaukee. She received her training at Marquette University, Skylight Music Theater and Milwaukee Rep. Stampley is one of the founders of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival and co-founded Bronzeville Arts Ensemble in Milwaukee in 2013, serving as artistic director for three years. Stampley has worked as a performer in Chicago, New York and Wisconsin. She began directing in 2016 for Black Arts MKE and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts’ annual production, “Black Nativity.” Stampley most recently directed a virtual reading of “The Mountaintop” for American Players Theatre. Chike Johnson (Kenyatta) is a native of Milwaukee. He is a graduate of the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Johnson has been acting for more than 20 years. He has been seen on the Broadway stage and appeared in numerous television programs and motion pictures. DiMonte Henning (Damon) serves as artistic director of performing arts organization, Lights! Camera! Soul! and received his formal theater training from UW-Milwaukee. His theater credits include “Stick Fly” (Writers Theatre) “A Christmas Carol” (Milwaukee Rep) and “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” among many others. Lachrisa Grandberry (Nina) is a Milwaukee-born actress, singer and writer who has made Chicago her home. Prior to the pandemic, she was performing “She the People” at The Second City. Her theatrical credits include work with The Milwaukee Rep, Northern Sky Theater, First Stage. Grandberry is an alumna of Wisconsin Lutheran College.

– In De Pere, Broadway Theatre Local Artist Series will host Jamie Lynn Fletcher live and in person at 7:30 p.m. March 6. Info: birderonbroadway.org.

– In Fish Creek, Northern Sky Theatre will present a virtual concert by Texas folk/jazz duo Karen Mal and Will Taylor at 7 p.m. March 6 as part of its ongoing winter season. Info: northernskytheater.com. After the premiere, the show will be available on demand through May 31. According to a press release: Touring singer, mandolinist and songwriter Mal lives in Austin, Texas, with jazz string player and arranger Taylor. Taylor has collaborated with artists from Shawn Colvin to Pearl Jam. Performing a duo show live from their home, the two will feature Celtic music for St. Patrick’s Day season and to promote their coming Celtic album release. Mal first appeared on the Northern Sky Theater stage in 1992, and since then she has remained one of the troupe’s most beloved singers and instrumentalists. Mal appeared in dozens of Northern Sky shows, including as the original Kid in “Lumberjacks in Love” and the original Angelique in “Belgians in Heaven,” and in more recent incarnations of “Home for the Holidays” and “And If Elected.” “Karen was an integral part of our intrepid little corps of performers back in the ’90s,” said artistic director Jeff Herbst. “Her musical abilities really elevated all of us. It’s been wonderful to watch what she’s accomplished as an independent singer-songwriter, and wonderful to see her team up with Will, who’s such a musical force.” Northern Sky’s Winter Season supports the theater’s ongoing “Rekindle Campaign,” an effort to safeguard the company financially against an uncertain 2021 performance season.

SOLD OUT: In Green Bay, Meyer Theatre will host a live, in-person return appearance of Vic Ferrari: Symphony on the Rocks(review of 2019 show) at 7:30 p.m. March 6. Info: meyertheatre.org.

– In Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music will present a “6:30 Concert Series” program, “Sustainable Voices – A Musical Exploration of Ecological Sustainability,” March 8 in collaboration with Common CAHSS (College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences). According to a press release: The virtual concert will stream live from Fort Howard Hall in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at 6:30 p.m. on UWGB Music’s YouTubeChannel. Out of concern for public health and in keeping the university’s current policy on public performances due to COVID-19, there will be no in-person attendance. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations may be made at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/uowgb/restriction/630ConcertSeries. This concert engages with this year’s Common CAHSS theme, “Beyond Sustainability.” The program is selected in response to these questions: What do we want to sustain given that it’s neither possible nor desirable to sustain the status quo? How can we simultaneously address ecological and social justice issues? These questions will be addressed through an inclusive programming of an array of compositional voices and styles. This program will include works by Evan Williams, Michelle McQuade Dewhirst, Daniel Crawford, John Luther Adams and John Salerno, and features performances by cellist Michael Dewhirst, the UWGB New Music Ensemble and the UWGB Faculty Jazz Combo. The series is designed to connect the campus with the community through the exploration of music. Performances feature insightful presentations by performers, composers and special guests. The series offers new perspectives on diverse styles, often exploring the music from multiple angles. Performances last between 60 and 90 minutes.

IS ONGOING

– In De Pere, The Green Room has reopened for live shows. ComedyCity De Pere will present family shows at 7:30 p.m. the first and third Friday nights and grown-up shows at 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Saturdays. Open Mic has returned. Info: thegreenroomonline.com.

– In Green Bay, Play-by Play Theatre professional company is continuing an online series Inspecting Shakespeare(feature story) that is running for 10 weeks, premiering at noon Wednesdays. Info: facebook.com/play.by.play.theatre/. Actors, directors, educators and theater professionals from Wisconsin to New York City and the United Kingdom present and inspect a different Shakespearean monologue each week. The current episode is features Catherine Goulding as Juliet in Act III, Scene 2 of “Romeo and Juliet” inspected by Carolyn Silverberg.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

– In Green Bay, Play-by-Play Theatre announced it will present a full-length play, Mark Dunn’s “Belles,” in April. With Mary Ehlinger as director and Elizabeth Jolly as stage manager six sisters in the play will be portrayed by Sarah Doyle, Alicia Skrivanie, Rachel Ziolkowski, Carolyn Silverberg, Molly Maher Lucareli and Haley Ebinal. 

­– In Green Bay, Civic Symphony of Green Bay announced it will continue its virtual series with these themes: March: “Member Spotlights,” April: “Basic Skills” and May: “Soloists & Ensembles.” Starting dates are not mentioned.

– In Sister Bay, Midsummer’s Music summer chamber music series named Michelle Meacham to the position of associate director. According to a press release: A graduate of Carroll University, Meacham has worked in communications and business administration for more than 20 years. Her experience includes coordinating local festivals, hosting musicians from around the country and running a business focused on artisan ice for beverages. Her responsibilities include managing office operations, staff, budgets and vendor relations; coordinating concert and event logistics and support; ensuring accuracy in financial and patron management systems; providing customer support for inquiries and ticket sales; and preparing operational reports for the board of directors. A Door County native, Meacham has lived in Milwaukee and Phoenix. Midsummer’s Music celebrates 31 years in 2021. The summer season of concerts will include live, socially spaced events and virtual events. The next concert is by Griffon String Quartet at 3 p.m. March 14 streaming free on the Griffon String Quartet YouTube channel and the Midsummer’s Music YouTube channel. Info: midsummersmusic.com. Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

WAS ARRIVING

+ POSTPONED: “The Fabulous Wonderettes,” March 5-7, 11-13, a presentation of The Masquers, at Capitol Civic Centre, Manitowoc, to May 15-17, 21-23.

+ CANCELED: “Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets,” March 6, at Ashwaubenon PAC.

+ POSTPONED: “James Garner’s Tribute to Johnny Cash,” March 6-7, at The Grand Oshkosh, to dates to be determined.

+ CANCELED: Gaelic Storm, March 10, at Meyer Theatre, Green Bay.

WAS ENDING

+ POSTPONED: “Frozen,” March 4-7, touring production at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, to May 18-29, 2022.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Pittsburgh beer festival for Black-owned breweries re-brands with new name, date & site

PITTSBURGH — A new year brings a re-branding for one of America’s favorite and most groundbreaking beer festivals.

Fresh Fest now is named Barrel & Flow Fest.

Along with the new name, the nation’s first beer festival dedicated to Black-owned breweries also moves from August to September and to a new site, SouthSide Works in Pittsburgh.

Forced by the pandemic to go virtual last year, Barrel & Flow is set for Sept. 10 to 12 in a spacious outdoor site on the city’s South Side. Tickets go on sale April 1. 

“We are enthusiastically re-branding as Barrel & Flow to fully embrace and uplift artists, musicians, chefs and brewers,” event founder Day Bracey, a Beaver resident, said. “We are more than just beer and want to continue to utilize the brewing industry to connect opportunity, accessibility and artistry in ways that empower the Black community.”

More:Diversity lagging in Pa. craft beer industry, Pittsburgh’s Fresh Fest hopes to change that

Launched in 2018 at the Nova Place courtyard on Pittsburgh’s North Side, Fresh Fest twice finished in second place in a yearly USA Today readers’ poll of best U.S. beer festivals.

Why the name change to Barrel & Flow?

Barrel & Flow Fest is the rebranded name for Fresh Fest, the nation's first beer festival dedicated to Black-owned breweries.

“To honor what we see as interconnected and important sectors of Black arts,” Bracey said. “To celebrate Black arts and artists. And to express and share how collective art is greater together than the sum of their individual parts. Through the barrel flows this collective creativity of music, visual art and culinary art. Our beer collaborations and aims of economic empowerment for the Black community continue, just as significant and necessary as ever, with global aspirations and national amplifications.”

A COVID-19 policy for safety procedures will be in place for the festival, in line with state and city requirements.

Diversity lagging in craft beer industry

For those who cannot make the in-person event, a Digi Flow virtual festival featuring live musical and art performances, a speaker series and symposiums will be offered.

Ticket package details, performance lineups and other info will be announced at  www.barrelandflow.com and on social media at @barrelandflow 

The ownership group at the revamped SouthSide Works is excited to partner with the beer festival.

“Barrel & Flow Fest is a way to showcase Pittsburgh and the Southside neighborhood to Black entrepreneurs, revelers and tastemakers,” Jonathon Reeser, director of SomeraRoad, Inc., said. “In past years, this festival has emerged as a national leader in inclusivity and innovation, and that’s everything this center —SouthSide Works —strives to be.”

 Barrel & Flow Fest is based in collaboration at the intersection of great music and art, food and drink, and the craft beer community, Reeser said.

“That level of collaboration is worth celebrating and supporting. Not only does it bring revenue to local brands and businesses, it fosters true friendship and understanding. Our goal is to make this a center for culture, not just a center for commerce. We’re honored to host the 2021 Fest and look forward to this partnership for years to come,” Reeser said.

Barrel & Flow is the new name for Fresh Fest, which is expanding its initiatives to support the Black arts community, centered around a beer festival at Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works.

Scott Tady is the local Entertainment Reporter for The Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger. He’s easy to reach at stady@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @scotttady 

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

FOL makes comeback with museum talk

By Page H. Gifford
Correspondent

The Friends of the Library made a comeback online on Feb. 24 after an absence of nearly a year with a program on black artists celebrating Black History Month. The speaker was Nancy Hirshbein, who is a docent with the Hirschhorn Museum and the Smithsonian Art Museum as well as a volunteer with the National Gallery, in Washington D.C.

With the museums shut down to the public, Hirshbein, like her fellow docents, were tired of sitting around at home with nothing to do and she formed a group of docents who would go online and give talks on a variety of subjects about museum exhibits. Her specialty is modern and contemporary art. The program called Dial-a Docent has not only reached out to communities throughout Virginia but throughout the entire U.S.

The lecture on art was just as effective online and well-organized and informative as it would have been in person. Hirshbein discussed three specific, influential, and contemporary black artists who were changing the dynamics in the art world through their vision of society. Many art movements have been influenced by many societal changes and Hirshbein pointed out that Black Lives Matter has been a key factor in this present art movement.

“This is a dense subject matter,” she said, referring to the detailed talk on how museums view their future outlook. She added it was unusual to have a societal movement like BLM affect museums which have been seen as less than progressive when it came to diversity. Museums are now looking at how to define their missions, their audience, displays (including interpreting monuments), and collections.

She explained that the role of  museums in the past was  to house and maintain  collections, usually legacies left by wealthy elitist benefactors. The museums became arbiters of culture.

“They are heavily critiqued because they are the cultural gatekeepers,” she said. “Now they are looking at public engagement, diversifying the museum audience.” She illustrated her point with an example of a protest  against an exhibit called “Harlem on My Mind” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969.

“The exhibit was inclusive of black curators but not inclusive of black artists.” She noted another example from artist Howardena Pindell’s analysis of the New York art world in 1986-1987. Pindell’s analysis showed that exhibitions were predominantly white and there was a stunning lack of African-American artists.

Hirshbein opened her discussion with artist Amy Sherald, famous for her portrait of first lady Michelle Obama. Sherald began as an abstract painter, eventually evolving into portraits. She noted the lack of pigmentation in the figures and explained why Sherald chose to paint her portraits in grayscale with colorful and bold clothing and accessories. She explained that Sherald had her models pick out things to wear or use that they would gravitate towards and reflected their personalities.

“She did this to let the interior person shine through.” Viewers were critical of Michelle Obama’s painting because she wasn’t smiling. One participant pointed out that in all the masters’ portraits, except for the Mona Lisa, no one was smiling.

Michelle Obama’s portrait was more about emotion than intent,” said artist Susan Lang.

Recontextualization was the subject of Titus Kaphar’s work. Deconstructing works of art that were representative of history such as his “Behind the Myth of Benevolence,” featuring a painting of Thomas Jefferson as a curtain is being pulled back to reveal a slave woman. It’s a strong and compelling work.

“It was referencing the myth that slavery was benevolent because slave owners took care of, clothed, fed, housed, and gave slaves work. Kaphar paints it in the style of the 18th century, calling attention to the narrative we’ve always heard.” She added that the painting was so offensive to the public it was damaged three times.

Another painting, “Absconded from The Household of the President of the U.S.” refers to the 22-year-old runaway slave, the dressmaker for Martha Washington,  Ona Judge who fled to New Hampshire and was never returned. Kaphar’s message is clear yet veiled in strips of old wanted runaway slave posters nailed to his neck.

“It became an obsession with Washington.” It is a powerful statement regarding what we don’t know about history and our historical figures.

Museums are looking at their wording of exhibits such as The Dutch Golden Age which also references the slave trade. It may have been their economic golden age but today’s museum audiences share a different perspective.

“They are moving away from using such phrases and now call it 17th –century Dutch painting.” Reconceptualization is changing how we view, think about, and understand art. Emma Amos, a multifaceted artist uses realism and abstraction along with symbolism to tell her visual stories. Her “Falling” series features a painting called equals which shows an African-American woman falling into a montage of past and present symbols. But when viewing it, it appears she may not be falling but pushing forward toward something better and more hopeful than what she has known.

Wrapping up her discussion she mentions British artist Hurvin Anderson, who is known for his unique paintings of Jamaican life and cited one featuring American icons of the Civil Rights movement.

One interesting question came from a local artist who asked if white people should paint African-Americans?

“That is an interesting question,” said Hirshbein, who paused to ponder her answer. “I’m not sure how to answer that but I can give you an example of an artist, Dana Shutz, who painted Emmett Till in his casket. The painting received criticism.” The painting was abstract but many saw it as non-representative of the black experience and a mockery at best.

Those who attended were left with a new perspective on art. Nowadays, museums will be thinking about the narrative when setting up exhibits and their effect on the audience who views them.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

San Antonio mayor vows to save historic Woolworth Building in ‘reset’ of Alamo Plaza project

click to enlarge The Woolworth building, which overlooks Alamo Plaza, is considered a significant civil-rights landmark. - MICHAEL MARKS

  • Michael Marks
  • The Woolworth building, which overlooks Alamo Plaza, is considered a significant civil-rights landmark.

San Antonio’s landmark Woolworth Building and its civil rights legacy will be preserved, along with a public civic space, under a new plan for the Alamo Plaza, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

His pledge came after he replaced Councilman Roberto Treviño as tri-chair of the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee and on the Alamo Management Committee with Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, and added two Black champions of civil rights history to the Advisory Committee.

“We are going to ensure that the Woolworth and Crockett Buildings remain, that they’re not demolished in the plan that moves forward, and that we also retain the openness and civic nature of the plaza,” Nirenberg said at the end of his nightly COVID-19 briefing on Monday, March 1. He also said streets around the Alamo would stay open. “If there is no museum being built, there’s no reason to close the roads right now.”

The previous plan to remake Alamo Plaza drew a remarkably diverse array of critics. Conservationists and civil-rights groups condemned the plan to put a museum in place of the 100-year-old Woolworth Building, which in March 1960 became the first in the South to peacefully desegregate its lunch counter.

click to enlarge This 1981 photo shows the Woolworth Building with its original signage. - COURTESY PHOTO / SAN ANTONIO CONSERVATION SOCIETY

  • Courtesy Photo / San Antonio Conservation Society
  • This 1981 photo shows the Woolworth Building with its original signage.

The Plaza, which has traditionally served as San Antonio’s most prominent and most important public forum, would have come under control of the Texas General Land Office, which had said the First Amendment would not apply within the property and public access would be restricted. And descendants of the Alamo were livid that the project would move — and possibly destroy — the Cenotaph, a monument to Alamo defenders who died in the 1836 battle. (Read Mike Greeberg’s critique of that plan.)

The $450 million project was neutered last September when the Texas Historical Commission voted 12-2 against issuing a permit to move the Cenotaph.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who hosted a day-long symposium a year ago on the Woolworth Building’s importance as an historic civil rights landmark, thanked Nirenberg during the COVID briefing for preserving the buildings and the civic space.

“Mayor, I thank you for speaking up about the heritage of the buildings that we’ve got there, Kress and Woolworth, and keeping the plaza where people can walk and get through,” Wolff said. “I think that’s extremely important. Thank you for taking that position.”

Aaronetta Pierce, tapped by Nirenberg to be a new tri-chair of the Advisory Committee, hailed the mayor’s pledge to preserve the Woolworth Building and the civil rights history.

“I believe that the commitment from the mayor is powerful,” she said, acknowledging it was “certainly one of the reasons” she accepted the post.

Pierce, an African American arts advocate and civic leader, has served for the past year on the San Antonio Conservation Society’s Coalition to Save the Woolworth Building. The building at the corner of East Houston and Alamo Streets opened in 1921 as the F. W. Woolworth 5-10 and 15 cent store.

“This adds another layer to the power of the Plaza,” Pierce said. “It adds another opportunity to tell another story of history – the history of the civil rights movement and the sit-ins.”

Carey Latimore, who Nirenberg also appointed to the 26-member Advisory Committee, is an associate professor of history at Trinity University who teaches African American studies. Last October, the Alamo Trust published Latimore’s study, commissioned by the city, on the history of desegregation in San Antonio.

Nirenberg said he appointed Viagran, a descendent of an Alamo defender, because she “has been a leader in the World Heritage designation for our community” and because of her “unwavering commitment to telling the entire story of the site.”

Treviño, who has been a key leader in the Alamo project, said in a written statement that he is “disappointed to be removed” from the Alamo Management and Advisory Committees. He added that the masterplan has “disintegrated,” and that he believes the city should pull out of the lease with the General Land Office and reallocate its $38 million commitment to other, more pressing needs.

Asked by a reporter about Treviño’s comments at that evening’s briefing, Nirenberg was blunt.

“Unfortunately the position that Councilman Treviño has taken — which is, that if the Cenotaph can’t move, then the Alamo Plan is dead — is not tenable. It’s not gonna move,” Nirenberg said. “So we have to redesign the plan around that reality, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Treviño had also declined to give in to a mounting drumbeat from the community and from political leaders including Wolff to save the Woolworth Building. Instead, according to this Alamo Trust article, he favored creating a stand-alone civil rights institute in the Kress Builiding, four blocks away on Houston Street.

Although he co-authored a 2018 op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News with Nirenberg and Wolff titled, “Alamo Plaza Must Remain a Public Space,” the plan Treviño backed would have restricted public access.

In a March 1 memo to City Council, Nirenberg wrote that the committee replacements, appointments and steps toward a redesigned Alamo plan came after his discussions with Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush. Bush and Nirenberg are the Executive Committee over the Alamo project.

Nirenberg’s memo said the modified plan “must consider key issues raised by our community,” including “repurposing the Woolworth and Crockett buildings,” street closures and public access to Alamo Plaza.

Nirenberg’s memo said the modified plan will “amend the project management structure and funding responsibility for each party.”

The memo said the parties have “conceptually discussed” that:

  • San Antonio will be responsible for the design and construction of Alamo Plaza and the improvements to Crockett and Bonham Street.
  • The General Land Office will be responsible for the design and restoration of the Church and Long Barracks and the design and construction of other improvements to the Alamo grounds.
  • The Alamo Trust will be responsible for the design and construction of a world class museum and any improvements to Alamo Street, Houston Street and the Paseo del Alamo that are necessary to integrate the museum into the Alamo Plaza.

Nirenberg said the changes “represent a reset of the project” but remain within the project’s vision and guiding principles.

He said the public will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the changes before city council votes on a new agreement some time in the next few months.

This article was first published by NowCastSA, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization informing and engaging people about public policy, health, the environment, education and culture.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Tom Morello Hits Back at Accusation of ‘White Privilege’: ‘I’m Not White’

Click here to read the full article on SPIN.

Rage Against the Machine guitarist/activist Tom Morello is usually a man of many words but in a response to a Twitter user who accused him of “white man privilege” on Wednesday, he gave a simple answer to the accusation.

His reply? “I’m not white.”

More from SPIN:

The guitarist sent the message to Twitter user @TheRealNubian2, who had criticized him for defending his friendship with Ted Nugent, the guitarist who espouses strong right-wing views. His accuser identifies on Twitter as: “She/Her. Feminist SJW. Not an American but will talk shit anyway.”

Morello, the son of an American mother of Italian and Irish descent and a father, Kikuyu Kenyan, who is from Kenya, told the story of his friendship with the Motor City Madman to Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show earlier this week. Discussing the nomination process for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Stern asked Morello: Can you separate the artist from his politics? Stern then brought up the outspoken conservative Nugent.

Morello’s reply? “You might be surprised to hear that Ted Nugent and I are good friends, someone I think that you could make an argument f0r [re Nugent’s nomination and induction]. For his 60th birthday, someone reached out to me and said, ‘We’re making a video, and we’re asking guitar players [to say a few kind words]. At the time, the Ted Nugent known in the world, in general, was this right-wing caricature.

“People were not thinking of him first and foremost as the guy who shredded on “Cat Scratch Fever,’” Morello continued.

The video he decided to make: “It’s going to be things that Tom Morello and Ted Nugent have in common. I went down this long list: free speech advocates, love of rock & roll, respect for black artists who’ve created rock and roll. And the second, was things Ted Nugent taught an adolescent Tom Morello about sex.”

[embedded content]

For example?

“These strange words, like the lyrics to the song “Wang Dang, Sweet Poontang” words that were utterly foreign to me. Ted called me up after that, and while we certainly have differences, I consider him a friend,” Morello said.

Nugent concurs, telling Guitar World in 2019, “You know who my genuine American blood brother is? Tom Morello.”

To see our running list of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time, click here.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Women’s History Month celebrations, artisans at the Pier, and a premiere at the Barnes in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

March is Women’s History Month and there are multiple exhibits, talks and tours that celebrate women who’ve made history in the Delaware Valley and beyond.

Dr. Yaba Blay’s book ‘One Drop’ (Beacon Press)

Speaker, scholar and activist Dr. Yaba Blay, who earned her master’s and Ph.D. at Temple University, just released her new book “One Drop” which focuses on colorism, race, and identity as it explores what it really means to be Black. She will be in conversation with Princeton professor and author Imani Perry to talk about the issues raised by the book and the nation’s racial reckoning. You can purchase the book with a signed book plate via Uncle Bobbie’s bookstore. (Although currently backordered online, it is available in the store.)

Women of the Penn Museum (Penn Museum)

The Penn Museum is hosting an event paying homage to the women who’ve graced the institution over time. Not only have women been vital parts in the museum’s exhibits, but they’ve also been a part of the archaeology and anthropology teams whose work has revealed more of their contributions. While enjoying the program, the museum encourages you to order from one of these local women-owned restaurants and eateries including Franny Lou’s Porch, Dock Street Brewery, Hip City Veg, Jet Wine Bar, Booker’s Restaurant, Jezebel’s Argentine Café and Bakery, Triple Bottom Brewing, French Toast Bites or one of your choice here, here and here.

  • What: Virtual talk
  • Where: Online, via Penn Museum
  • When: Friday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
  • How Much: $10
Alice Dunbar Nelson (public domain)

Alice Dunbar-Nelson was a pioneering Black scholar, activist, suffragist, and poet among other things, who overcame domestic violence and spent her life fighting for the empowerment of Black women. Once in an abusive marriage to fellow poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, she lived her later years in Delaware and Philadelphia where she was an educator, speaker, and journalist who played an active role in advancing racial justice. During Women’s History Month, the Rosenbach Museum is celebrating her life via a virtual exhibit.

  • What: Virtual exhibit
  • Where: Online, via the Rosenbach Museum
  • When: On-demand
  • How Much: Free
A portrait of Callowhill Penn was hung at the PA Governor’s Office in 2015. (Commonwealth of PA)

“Well-behaved women seldom make history” is a famous quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. (Though famously taken out of context, Ulrich embraced its altered meaning and ultimately wrote a book of the same title.) That would be the takeaway of the Badass Women’s History Tour available via Beyond the Bell Tours. The walking tours, at the moment available for groups of five or more only, tells the story of Philly female badassery via the lives of Ona Judge, Hannah Callowhill Penn, and Nizah Morris, who advocated for the rights of gender-variant sex workers and who died under questionable circumstances in 2002.

  • What: Walking tour
  • Where: By reservation via Beyond the Bell Tours
  • When: Ongoing, 11 a.m., Monday – Sunday
  • How Much: $200 up to five people, group bookings only
Cherry Street Pier (Maria Young for DRWC)

The Cherry Street Pier’s 2021 Artists and Artisans Market returns Friday. The indoor and outdoor marketplace brings artists and makers in varied disciplines to the market to showcase their one-of-a-kind wares. Women-owned businesses at the market this week include Emaye Design, The Random Tea Room, and Baby Got Good.

View of the Village; Vue sur le village, 1921-1922 (oil on canvas) by Soutine, Chaim (1894-1943) (Photo Christie’s Images; French)

Curated by Simonetta Fraquetti, the exhibit of 45 paintings by Chaïm Soutine and Willem de Kooning will make its world premiere at the Barnes, the only museum that will host the exhibit in the U.S. In partnership with the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie

in Paris where it heads next, it will explore the relationship between Soutine’s work and de Kooning’s. Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who created the Barnes Foundation was an early supporter of French/Russian painter Soutine, once buying dozens of his paintings on one trip to Paris.

Pat Steir’s renowned painting “Little Red Waterfall” (Delaware Art Museum)

American abstract artist Pat Steir’s renowned painting “Little Red Waterfall” is the subject of a lunchtime virtual discussion hosted by the Delaware Art Museum. The New York City-based artist is one of the few women whose work commands seven-figure prices. At 82, she continues to be one of the preeminent female artists in the world. A documentary, “Pat Steir: Artist,” was released about her life and work last year. “Little Red Waterfall” is part of her “Waterfall” series that Steir started in the ‘80s.

  • What: Virtual talk
  • Where: Online, via Delaware Art Museum
  • When: Friday, March 5, noon – 1 p.m.
  • How Much: $7
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Henry Ossawa Tanner (Wikimedia)

Germantown’s Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is itself full of history, so why not continue their virtual talks that expand on significant figures of the city’s vibrant past? Painter Henry Ossawa Tanner is the topic on Saturday, March 6 at 1 p.m. Dr. Anna O. Marley will provide more information on the storied African American artist’s time studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the religious faith that inspired his work.

Keep checking with Things To Do as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 recovery. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Largest Black Doll Show to Open a Black Doll Museum in Shipping Containers

(Source BlackNews.com):

        DETROIT, MI — Sandra Epps decided to turn her negative into a positive after surviving three near-death experiences due to lupus. In 2005, she established Sandy’s Land where the mission is to party with a purpose, to encourage women and girls to “Love the Skin They’re In!” Presently, Sandy’s Land LLC conducts art parties and hosts the Detroit Doll Show which is the largest Black doll show of its kind. She founded The Detroit Doll Show in 2011 with the purpose of celebrating history, culture, self-love, and diversity with the promotion of Black dolls.

Epps decided that with the up-rise and reveal of injustice to people of color and the establishment of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Black Doll Museum will be a perfect resource for visitors to learn about the positive history and culture of Black people, while little brown girls will be inspired to love themselves. The build-out shipping containers will include the Black dolls in addition be a space to host art parties, doll-making workshops, and classes taught by Black historians, therapists, and gardeners. Epps comments, “The Butterfly represents the rash that appears on a lupus patient’s face when they are experiencing a flare-up. The butterfly is also symbolic of hope, transformation, peace, and prosperity. And these vivid and powerful insects are now quasi-extinct due to lack of habitat caused by new development, pesticides, and climate change.”

Her plan is to help save the butterfly by incorporating them into her business space. With the help from the community, Black doll collectors, butterfly lovers, nature enthusiasts, or just admirers Epps will make her dream a reality. She will introduce an entertainment space that uplifts Black culture, empowers brown girls and assists the environment.

The launch of the GoFundMe for the Black Doll Museum & Butterfly Garden is to raise funds to purchase land and to then kick start the foundation work for the build-out shipping containers in Detroit, Michigan. The space will be intentional with empowerment including Black art, statues with affirmations, and classes to be taught by African American doll makers, historians, gardeners, entomologists, therapists, and nutritionists. Also, there will be a pond with koi fish, gazebo, and rock path of hope to pay homage to loved ones. In addition, patrons can participate with interactive Nature Fun Facts. And Epps plans to become a certified waystation for Monarch Butterflies to have a safe pesticide-free habitat to eat, to lay their eggs, to grow, and be released to migrate.

Epps plans to purchase land in 2021. There are two ways to support the construction of the Black Doll Museum. People can donate on the GoFundMe page or with the purchase of Girlfriend, It’s Time to SOAR! A Work Journal for Personal Transformation written by Sandra Epps. The proceeds from each book will go toward the purchase of land for the Butterfly Garden and Black Doll Museum at DetroitDollShow.com.

For press inquiries, contact Ny’Ree Hardway at (313) 492-6953 or info@sandyslandllc.com.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Bringing New Voices to Children

While searching through documents about slavery, thinking about history, and wondering how to celebrate the humanity within us all, children’s book artist and illustrator Ashley Bryan saw a world waiting to be seen. The task at hand, he knew, was to write African-American tales in a way that would reach across time and space.

“[Bryan would] go to the library and take out books and would look and read voraciously, but there was nobody who ever looked like him,” said Dan Mills, director at the Bates College Museum of Art. “He really has made it his life’s work to change that for future generations of children.”

Ashley Bryan is a celebrated children’s book writer and illustrator. (Creative Commons)

Mills facilitated a lively Zoom discussion last Wednesday about the relevance and influence of Bryan’s career as an artist and author. He was joined by Anthony Shostak, the museum’s education curator; Krista Aronson, associate dean of faculty, professor of psychology, and the director and founder of the Diverse BookFinder; and Márçia and Daniel Minter, co-founders of the Indigo Arts Alliance

For almost ten decades now, Bryan has let his imagination lead the way through his painting and drawing. Even as a boy, he loved poetry, folktales, and fairytales; as an adult, his focus has been to write and illustrate stories to young people through his books. 

Bryan’s story, in its entirety, is a testament to the power of believing in oneself. In high school, at age 16, Bryan applied for scholarships to art schools with an impressive portfolio, but his applications were denied on the basis of race. He enrolled instead at the Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering in New York City, where more emphasis was placed on his portfolio

At age forty, in 1962, Bryan became the first African American to publish a children’s book as an author and illustrator. From 1974 to 1988, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth College, and eventually became the head of the arts department. Wherever he went, no matter where that was, he broke barriers about race, gender and art.

Aronson spoke first about the Diverse BookFinder and how it works. She explained that her children and her experience with parenting influenced her to get involved with this type of work. Her oldest daughter, now 18, used to come home with “interesting questions,” like whether she was Somali, and why there was tension between the Somali and non-Somali kids at her school.

“I really started to think, ‘How might I contribute and participate in this conversation with the children and also with the adults that are guiding them?’” Aronson said. “How can I meet my community where they are and help them move to a different place?”

She looked around for potential interventions, which led her to picture books. Hoping to “carry change forward,” she started collecting them, thinking about their messages and the impact they might have on children from a psychological perspective. This inspired the idea for the Diverse BookFinder, which gathers picture books published since 2002 that feature Black, Indigenous, and characters of color.

Aronson encouraged listeners to check out the Diverse BookFinder. After asking Mrs. Minter to speak about the Indigo Arts Alliance and Mr. Minter to speak about his career as an illustrator and artist, Mills directed the conversation back to Ashley Bryan. 

Mills invited Mrs. Minter to speak about Bryan’s influence from her point of view as an artist, illustrator, and role model for Black artists in Maine. 

“I would say that the most impactful quality about Ashley is that he’s a humanitarian,” she said. “[He] has utilized every possible creative skill that he has to reflect back to us his story — his multiple stories — in terms of his life, what he’s experienced in his life, what he envisions, what he sees with his eyes, and then how he interprets that, whether that’s through his paintings, his sketches, through his own writing, or children’s books.”

The fact that he has been able to live for almost ten decades, working in that way, has shaped him to be the humanitarian that he is, she said. He lives from his heart, recognizing his relationship to other human beings, deeply valuing children and their perspectives.

“That magic, that pure love, is something that we all aspire to, no matter who we are,” she added. “And the fact that he is a black man, for us, as children of the African diaspora who really understand intimately what he has had to live through, what has had to work through to be and do and live the life that he has, is just pure inspiration.”

Mills asked Mr. Minter if Bryan has been a mentor to him in his development as an artist. Mr. Minter responded by saying that Bryan has become “Uncle Ashley” to him.

It is not simply Bryan’s art that fascinates Mr. Minter; it is his way of existing and being himself. Bryan once lived on a tiny island in Maine, but he was a “world.” Wherever he went, the world would travel along with him.

“You walk into his house, and the world is there,” Mr. Minter said. “You walk out on the beach with him, and the world is there, and he is absorbing it all and reflecting it all, and that way of being fully yourself, not making yourself small, not containing your creativity but letting it go out and sharing it selflessly every moment — that’s an inspiration.”

Those who are interested may watch the full recording of the event here

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

American Poets on the Hip-Hop Songs That Most Inspire Them

To complement T’s recent feature on how the barrier between rap and poetry is becoming increasingly porous thanks to a new generation of practitioners in both art forms, we asked a number of poets mentioned in the piece about the hip-hop songs they return to again and again.

From Adrian Matejka

Run the Jewels feel like the Black Arts Movement poets in their earned righteousness and seriousness about repetition, wordplay and political metaphor. Killer Mike and El-P also craft bars like poets craft verses, thinking willfully about sound device, allusion and metaphor.

Everything about this song inspires me sonically. I borrowed her habit of mosaic rhyme that’s really epistrophe (“stash in it, racks in it, / … ass in it”) and tried to figure out ways to use those repetitive octaves in the middle of lines instead of at the end.

She includes Reyna Biddy’s poetry at the end of the song — I love to see poetic bars and poetic verses in direct conversation.

Rhythm in poetry is dictated by all kinds of things — diction, syntax, meter, etc. But “Wunna” made me think about the ways sounds in words — alliteration, assonance and consonance — can make unexpected rhythms.

From Kyle Dargan

Hip-hop, culturally, encourages a lot of allusion and broad sampling, but I think — and always impress upon my students — that there is something powerful about the ability to stay within and maximize one particular motif. And Push and Kendrick, in this song, really exhaust, creatively, their respective motifs of drug culture from their adolescence.

Listening to the Roots was formative for me, and one of the key features of a classic Roots track is the variance of lyrical flow. That’s also something to which I try to hold myself and my students: varying your rhythm and syntax. On this track, you hear a range, from Black Thought’s rapid and syllabically dense bars, to Malik B., with his stick-and-move lyrical phrasing, and then finally Bahamadia’s understated and wavy stressing and sound stitching.

From Khadijah Queen

Tupac’s whole Makaveli album got me through a very difficult time when it was first released, because I could relate to feeling like I was up against impossible odds trying to survive as my whole true self in a sea of haters/naysayers/sexists/racists. But “Hail Mary” is the song I return to most often; it’s featured in my verse play “Non-Sequitur” (2015) as a musical interlude played on the cello. I just love the beat, that church bell, the high stakes and sense of vulnerability to fear and danger, a kind of dark faith and persistence alongside bravado and self-awareness.

From Reginald Dwayne Betts

“Dear sister, got me twisted up in prison, I miss ya” — what else is there to say? And the ill thing about this joint is, when I think of my own craft, I recognize that Tupac Shakur is able to weave it all. There is the vulnerability here that Pac is known for. But, you know, I think about that other layer of social conscience, how we treat the people in our own community, how we treat Black women. That’s here, too.

From Nate Marshall

Black Thought is a master of dense verse, and he has that one line in here that I think about all the time: “Ain’t it strange how the newspapers play with the language / I’m deprogrammin’ y’all with uncut slang.…” That’s basically the thesis of my last book.

From Morgan Parker

My favorite conversation between sample and anthem. That lil’ moment where it’s still sort of just the Lou Reed song (“Walk on the Wild Side”) and the bass sneaks in, that’s where I live. I think there’s an entire generation of us who learned line breaks from Tribe.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

In the standstill of the pandemic, James Bangura’s music is still moving people

By ,

Sarah L. Voisin The Washington Post

James Bangura has emerged as one of the most exciting new voices in dance music.

It’s strange making dance music for a world with no dancing, but James Bangura is into the democratizing side effects. “With the parties gone, the cream rises to the top,” the 33-year-old producer says on a recent walk near his apartment in Columbia Heights. “The hype goes away. Nobody’s talking about the big DJs right now because the big DJs are at home like us.”

Bangura’s music — an exquisite latticework of techno, drum-and-bass, breakbeat and more — can feel as intimate as it does intricate, but Bangura hears it as part of a wider picture. He’s one of the leading voices in a rising generation of Black producers and DJs working to annihilate the racist myth that house and techno music originated in Europe — and in the standstill of a global pandemic, he’s succeeding.

“Black artists are used to it,” Bangura says. “We’re accustomed to creating out of pain, and shortcoming, and not being able to get certain things. So when people ask, ‘How are you guys able to create in this [environment]?,’ it’s because a lot of us grew up in trying situations. We never had a choice but to work this way.”

For Bangura, those trying situations involved growing up in a family that he describes as “not the most functional.” Raised by his grandparents in Alabama, he moved to New Jersey as a teen to live with his mother (a radio DJ who got him into house music), then eventually relocated to California where he graduated from high school in 2005. He started working for hourly wages in Riverside County, including one gig at AutoZone where his manager began taking him to drum-and-bass parties after closing shop. Bangura had discovered albums by LTJ Bukem and Roni Size back when he was living in New Jersey, but “I hadn’t seen the music experienced that way,” he says.

He quickly found his place in the nightlife, but, unsure of where the rest of his life was going, he enlisted in the Army in 2010 and deployed to Afghanistan. “I started writing music in the military because I missed being part of the community,” Bangura says. “Now, writing music is therapy for me.”

His military service ended in 2018. So did his marriage. When his mother died in 2019, Bangura relocated to D.C. for a new job and a fresh start. Deep in grief while searching for an apartment in the District, he composed an elegy for his mother that would eventually become his “R.Y.S.S.” EP, all while camped out in a suburban Virginia hotel room.

Since then, he’s been prolific, issuing a series of highly detailed, deeply introspective recordings: “All Smoke No Mirrors” in June, “Interpretation of Sound” in December, “E-FAX009” just last week. Quarantined listeners seem to be picking up on the nuance in his music, even if they aren’t able to hear his tracks unspool out on the dance floor.

“People have the time to look within themselves right now,” Bangura says. “Things are closed, so people can take the time to listen to new things and explore. And then, because of that, the artists have responded in kind. It’s like, ‘Well, let me give you more.’ To me, music is a gift.”

As for safeguarding that gift, it’s “a responsibility,” Bangura says. “We have to rewrite these narratives” about the provenance of electronic dance music, “because, as Black artists, if we don’t stand up and say, ‘This ours, this is what we own, this comes from our culture,’ it completely goes away.”

James Bangura’s latest EP, “E-FAX009,” is available on Bandcamp.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment