Thursday, January 21, 2010

Get Hip and Get Some Black Women's Art in Your Life

Women on Wednesdays: Arts and Culture Series
Curated by Ebony Noelle Golden and Nina Angela Mercer


Women on Wednesdays (WoW)is a month-long series that highlight the arts and cultural practices of girls and women of the African diaspora. Co-curated by Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative and Ocean Ana Rising, WoW features work of emerging and seasoned artists and cultural workers in the fields of theater, music, film, dance, literature, and scholarship. The series culminates in a day long teach-in as we explore activism through creative arts; a reception will follow. There is a suggested donation for all WoW events, and no one is turned away. Events take place at Brecht Forum located in the West Village at 7pm on each Wednesday of the month.

Artistic Manifesta


I guess that waltzes
Do not move me.
I have no sympathy
For symphonies.
I guess I hummed the blues too early
And spent too many midnights
Out wailing to the rain.

-Assata Shakur

"Magic, Everyday"

In "The Quilt: Towards a Twenty-First Century Black Feminist Ethnography" Renee Alexander Craft offers, “African/black women have all too often been imagined, defined, labeled and packaged in ways that are at odds with who we are and understand ourselves to be” (56). Craft's ideas highlight media representations of the mythic Black woman. Craft acknowledges that Black women's identities, (re)productive potential, and labor/work have been high-jacked by dominant media outlets. Women on Wednesdays Arts and Culture Series (WoW) grew out of a similar acknowledgement. WoW's organizers recognize the intersecting oppressions of race, sex, and gender that marginalize Black women's cultural and artistic labor. We affirm the pressing need to collaborate with Black women artists who are expanding conversations about what it means to be Black, woman, artist, cultural worker, and scholar. As a Black women-led project, we recognize the radical practice of providing an uncensored and economically-supported platform for WoW's participants to articulate identity, art, and cultural practice as a personal evolutionary process and negotiation of violent landscapes founded in doctrines of silence and erasure.

When we harness artistic and cultural practices in the tradition of our fore mothers, we quilt a brilliant narrative that shifts and balances the rhythm of this universe. WoW honors the art women make on the porch, at the kitchen table, in the studio, classroom, street and beyond. This series affirms the movement, stories, melodies, theories, and meditations and laments, placing women's voices at the center of narratives about our shared and unique experiences. Women's artistic practices are not only tools for survival but tools for activating an aesthetics of radical imagination that conjures liberation for the artist and our communities. Utilizing art and culture, women conflate the personal and the political, the intimate and the communal, the artistic and the academic to not only honor our collective legacies but inform and imagine the world we want to live in today and tomorrow.

February 3

Body: Word, Move, Perform
"Body: Word, Move, Perform", is an exploration of the body through word, movement, and performance. The night features literary readings, choreographic works and short performance pieces and ends with a round table discussion about how Black women use dance, performance, and literary art to explore the individual in relationship to surrounding political, environmental, and social landscapes. Talk-back moderated by Ebony Noelle Golden

February 10
She Got a Fierce Up-Rock: Women in Hip Hop
Featuring a screening of the film "Say My Name" and a performance by Kymbali Craig, "She Got a Fierce Up-Rock" provides a space to explore Black women in Hip Hop. From politics of production, to juggling motherhood and career, the panel discussion promises to be a vibrant and necessary conversation. Talk-back moderated Brandy Monk-Payton and Kymbali Craig.

February 17
Daughters of Shange
Featuring a staged reading of "I Am a Drum" by Sybil Roberts, "Daughters of Shange" features short experimental performance works that trouble and conflate traditional categories of theatrical performance. Talk-back moderated by Nina Angela Mercer.

February 21

"Teach the Teacher" harnesses the power of communal learning and knowledge sharing. Featuring workshops, discussion, and performances, "Teach the Teacher" is day-long teach-in for those who are interested in utilizing art and culture for awareness and social justice

February 24
Ñañakuna K’uychimanta (sisters of the rainbow) is a musical, literary and dance performance that will explore the artistic expressions of women from the African Diaspora. The evening employs a reinterpretation of "round robin sessions" where each artist will share with their fellow performers, writers and musicians, their work to generate a discussion at the end of the performance. This event will feature the talents of The Mimi Jones Band; poets Tara Betts, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs and, Tonya Foster; and choreographer dancer Paloma McGregor.
This event is curated and moderated by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs.