The Arts

South Florida Spelman Alumnae Host Virtual Scholarship Fundraiser Sunday, June 27, 2021 3PM

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The South Florida Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College will present their "All That Jazz" 2021 Virtual Scholarship Fundraiser and Live Auction on Sunday, June 27, 2021, 3 PM ET.

Event co-hosts are Spelman alumnae Christie Grays Chambers, commercial realtor and founder of I am CHIC, and Betty Davis, Chief Meteorologist, WPLG-10.

You can win exquisite items while empowering the next generation of global women leaders in the liberal arts, sciences, and business.

Since 1881, Spelman College has produced notable alumnae such as Stacey Abrams, Alice Walker, Rosalind Brewer, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Esther Rolle, Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields, Marian Wright Edelman, and Bernice King.

RSVP at sfnaasc.org.


Fisk Jubilee Singers® Win GRAMMY® Award for Best Roots Gospel Album

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 Nashville, TN (March 14, 2021) — Curb Records is excited to announce a 2021 GRAMMY® win for the Fisk Jubilee Singers’® album, Celebrating Fisk! (The 150thAnniversary Album), in the Best Roots Gospel Album category. Listen to the album HERE.

“I am very thankful to my students – 2016 and 2017 Fisk Jubilee Singers – Shannon Sanders, guest artists and everyone who contributed to us winning this award,” shares Dr. Paul Kwami, Musical Director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. “It is the first GRAMMY Award won by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in our 150-year history. The Fisk Jubilee Singers established and introduced a unique form of American music to the world in the 1800s and the legacy lives on!”

Shannon Sanders, album producer, also shares, “I am both humbled and honored to be a part of this historic moment. Congratulations to Dr. Paul T. Kwami, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Fisk University, Curb Records, and all of the phenomenal artists, musicians and engineers that contributed to this incredible project.”

The album, which is more than 150 years in the making, is a collection of 12 songs that beautifully represents and communicates the powerful and vibrant history of Fisk University, Fisk Jubilee Singers, and the city of Nashville. It features the group from the stage of Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, with guest appearances by Ruby Amanfu, Keb’ Mo’, Lee Ann Womack, The Fairfield Four, Rod McGaha, Derek Minor, Shannon Sanders, Rodney Atkins, Jimmy Hall and CeCe Winans, and was produced by Shannon Sanders, Paul Kwami, Jim Ed Norman, and Mike Curb.

“How exciting for the Fisk Jubilee Singers to be recognized for their hard work and dedication, not only on this album, but throughout history,” shares Curb Records Chairman, Mike Curb. “I have been blessed to work with Paul Kwami, who is a musical genius and a national treasure. This GRAMMY also honors Fisk University’s 150th Anniversary, which is so important for Nashville and our entire country. This is a momentous day for Fisk, the Curb Records team, and everyone that has been part of this project.” 

For more information, visit fisk.edu

Track-listing:

  1. Wade In The Water
  2. Blessed Assurance (feat. CeCe Winans)
  3. I Believe (feat. Keb’ Mo’)
  4. Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right (feat. Lee Ann Womack)
  5. Rock My Soul (feat. The Fairfield Four)
  6. I Want Jesus To Walk With Me (feat. Ruby Amanfu)
  7. When The Saints Go Marching In (feat. Rod McGaha)
  8. ‘Way Over In Egypt Land
  9. Glory / Stranger (feat. Derek Minor & Shannon Sanders)
  10. Working On A Building (feat. Rodney Atkins)
  11. My Lord Is So High
  12. I Saw The Light (feat. Jimmy Hall)

 

 


High Marks for Gallon’s “Light Found in the Dark”

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Raw, gritty, powerful, and unapologetic,” were the words used by DeAnne Connolly Graham to describe the film. She was among the over 100 attendees for the advanced screening of “Light Found in the Dark: The Life Story of Dr. Steve Gallon III”, a new documentary capturing the life story of School Board Vice-Chair and lifelong educator Dr. Steve Gallon III. The advanced screening was held on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at the Historic Ward Rooming House and hosted by the Point Comfort Art Fair and Show, along with the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA. Gallon, who has served as a teacher, principal, district administrator, and Superintendent of Schools before being elected as School Board Member for District 1, teamed up with local artists Arvis Lawson and James ‘Munch” Mungin II on the project as Executive Producer with Lawson serving as Director and Mungin as Producer.

 

“Yes, this is an art gallery focused on art, specifically Black art,” said Christopher Norwood, organizer of the Point Comfort Art Fair and Show who reached out to Gallon and his team about featuring the film. “Tonight, Dr. Gallon, Arvis, and James are artists. They are using Dr. Gallon’s life as a canvas, a work of art, to educate, enlighten, and inspire,” he said as he gave opening remarks before presenting the film.

 

Light Found in the Dark focuses on the life of renowned educator, Dr. Steve Gallon III, who rose from the streets of Miami’s Liberty City to become a teacher, principal, Superintendent, and now the Vice Chair of the Miami-Dade County School Board, the nation’s 4th largest school district. Part 1 of the three part documentary examined and explored Gallon’s deeply personal, often problematic, and even painful period growing up in Liberty City. The 1980’s Liberty City riots, the deaths of childhood friends and even the senseless killing of a popular Miami-Dade County Schools teacher by a childhood associate provided grim context and setting during Gallon’s formative years. The film uses Gallon’s real life in framing the narrative and struggle of young Black males decades ago and even today, and their continued struggle, no matter their place in today’s society, to avoid pitfalls which too often lead to prison, poverty, or an early death.

 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher and Liberty City native and activist Amber Hayward took to Facebook to give kudos to the production. “Goosebumps all night! Talking about an event that left you feeling amazing,” she said. “I felt so proud to be a product of Liberty City. I was so proud because Dr. Steve Gallon told his story, so many of our stories, and he made us feel good.”

 

Among the attendees with one of Gallon’s older brothers who was highlighted in the film and served time in prison, was another person featured in the film, who Gallon expressed strong respect and adoration for, and who was the “brother” from another mother. Leon, who Gallon recognized in the audience, served 25 years in federal prison and was released in 2012 to join him and his family when Gallon buried his late mother, Virginia. “It was a tale of two criminal justice systems---two different outcomes for essentially the same charge. My brother pleaded guilty and served 5 years. Leon went to trial and was sentenced to 30 years and served 25. The system essentially punishes you more harshly for fighting…for challenging it,” Gallon shared with the audience during the Q & A with him, Lawson, and Mungin which was moderated by Norwood.

 

“Gallon’s life story and journey reflect yet another iteration in the narratives told by Claude Brown in Manchild in the Promise Land and Nathan McCall in Makes Me Wanna Holler,” said Norwood and we are proud that the film was debuted at the Point Comfort Art Fair and Show right here in Overtown.

 

The evening included a live performance by local HipHop/Rap artist Gemhe Real, who performed his original song “Tunnel Vision” which served as the film’s lead soundtrack. Gemhe Real is a former student of Gallon’s at Miami Northwestern where Gallon served as principal. Real shared the impact that his former principal had on his life. “Dr. Gallon saved lives” said Real. “I know because he saved mine and never gave up on me. I am blessed to be up here reppinOvertown, the West, and this film and Doc’s life and message through my music.

 

The next screening is planned for February 2021.

 

View the film’s trailer at https://youtu.be/jxTRh1VQiec

 

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Dr. Steve Gallon III, James “Munch” Mungin II, and Arvis Lawson


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Photos:   Dennis Manuel

 


#WeAreTheVote Festival, Sunday, March 8 at Miramar Amphitheater

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The #WeAre Foundation is a new non-profit organization that uses the arts and artists to bridge the gaps between us, and connect our communities to our collective voice and vote. They’ve created a space for us to come together by holding a free #WeAreTheVote festival to attract and create awareness around the importance of civic engagement, and help empower as many people as possible to make their voice count at the polls.

 

The festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 8, 2020, Noon - 8 PM, at Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater, 16801 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33027. The community festival with live entertainment, food trucks, voter registration, music and activities will celebrate everyone who pledges to vote. 

 

The co-founder of #WeAre Foundation, BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, will be available to meet and greet the public. You remember Dixon because he played lawyer Terry Silver on POWER. His body of work includes his roles as Aaron Burr in HAMILTON on Broadway, and Judas in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live.” 

 

Representatives from HeadCount and the WeAre Foundation will be available to answer questions about local voter registration requirements and assisting with voter registration on-the-spot.

 

“The growing divisions in our politics and social interactions inspired us to build an ecosystem of citizens and organizations that can remind us all that the more we fight for each other, the less we have to fight for ourselves,” said Dixon. “In 2020 we will demonstrate the connective power of the arts to help communities realize the power of their voice and collective vote!"

 

HeadCount is thrilled to partner with the #WeAre Foundation in 2020. This partnership epitomizes our mission, bringing artists, volunteers, and communities together in the pursuit of positive social change. Together, we will reach thousands of voters and get-out-the-vote in 2020.

 

 

 


Dr. Steve Gallon’s Fourth Annual Black History Showcase pays homage to HBCUs and the Divine Nine

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Brilliance, creativity, and talent were on full display at Miami Carol City Senior High, on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, as District 1 School Board Member and School Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III held his 4th Annual District 1 Black History Showcase. This year’s show entitled “D1 Chella” celebrated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) also known as the Divine Nine. Performances included dance,  step, chorus, spoken word, drama, jazz band, and  drumline.

 

The event master of ceremonies was District 1 and Andover Middle School’s 8th grader Ramaria St. Hilaire. Schools represented in this year's showcase included: Golden Glades Elementary, North Dade Center for Modern Languages, Parkview Elementary, Rainbow Park Elementary, Scott Lake Elementary, Norland Middle School, Carol City Middle School, North Miami Senior High, Miami Norland Senior High, Jan Mann Educational Center, and Miami Carol City Senior High. There was also a special performance by Ricky Danco, a Haitian American dance company.

 

Event partner was City of Miami Gardens Councilwoman Katrina Wilson. More than 500 were in attendance and included Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, Councilman David Williams Jr., Councilman Reggie Leon, Trayvon Martin Foundation executive director Sybrina Fulton, North Region Superintendent Jose Bueno, UTD Vice President Antonio White, and North Region administrators and school staff.

 

A special visual presentation was featured reflecting on the past and highlighting the present status of HBCUs and the Divine Nine. The showcase received a long and resounding standing ovation and continuous praise by everyone as the audience exited the auditorium.

 

“Once again, our community has been able to serve witness to the artistic beauty and brilliance of our students, as well as the power that the arts plays in their education and empowerment,” said Dr. Gallon. “The night also provided an opportunity for us to reflect, recognize, and celebrate the educational journey of Blacks in higher education and the powerful role and influence that Black fraternities and sororities have played in binding us in power and purpose. The night’s performances also provided us with a challenge. How do we top this?”

 

To view highlights from the show, visit:

https://youtu.be/M9HVmXPlfDI

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The Second Day of Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia

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Greeting: Habari gani!

Response: Kujichagulia (KOO-GEE-CHA-GOO-LEE-AH)! 

Today is the second day of Kwanzaa. The principle we celebrate is Kujichagulia which means Self-Determination. To define ourselves, to name ourselves, speak for ourselves and create for ourselves.

Kujichagulia is a commitment to building our lives in our own images and interests. If we, as a people, are to achieve our goals we must take the responsibility for that achievement. Self-determination is the essence of freedom. This day calls for a reaffirmation of our commitment to work together for Black people everywhere, particularly here in America, to build more meaningful and fulfilling lives. 

Harambee!

 

Related Link:

Celebrate Kwanzaa in Miami


A Moving Art Installation featuring South Florida’s Black Residents is set to tour the streets of Liberty City and Little Haiti

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MIAMI, FL - A South Florida photographer known for documenting Florida’s historically black neighborhoods is bringing her work back to the people she photographed  with a mobile photography installation.  Johanne Rahaman, creator of BlackFlorida, will unveil her latest exhibit, ‘From the South to the Southernmost- Liberty City to Little Haiti’ on a visible mobile LED screen truck that will tour these neighborhoods on Saturday, October 13, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Inspired by the relationships and familiarity to the people and the areas, Rahaman chooses to bring the exhibit to the streets instead of showing at an art gallery which can be considered to be “white spaces” and too “exclusive” for many.  This show is one of several more similar shows to follow in different neighborhoods.

The exhibition will feature images of community events Rahaman documented between 2015 and 2016 such as: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parades in Liberty City and the monthly ‘Big Night in Little Haiti’ community festival along with the popular Rara processions.  The mobile show will also incorporate a musical score using music Rahaman curated while photographing inside the homes, churches, businesses and streets.  “While the visual show engages, the music will entertain and drive the pace of the exhibit”, says Rahaman. “I prefer to collaborate with a DJ from the communities that I'm featuring, who will curate a playlist that compliments the story of that community.”  ‘From the South to the Southernmost’ will begin at NW 7th Avenue and NW 79th Street, criss-crossing the streets and avenues to 54th Street, then across 54 Street to Little Haiti

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‘BlackFlorida’ is a photographic archive showcasing the nuances of rural towns and inner cities throughout Florida.  BlackFlorida is also one of 43 projects awarded The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Knight Arts Challenge 2017.

 


Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats Subject of Netflix Docu-series “Marching Orders”

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Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats are the subject of a 12-episode docu-series on Netflix.



“Marching Orders,” an original unscripted series, takes viewers inside the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The band’s rich history includes being showcased at major sports events from the Super Bowl to NFL games and was featured in the popular film “Drumline” starring Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana. This 12-episode series, Marching Orders, premiered on Friday, August 3 on Netflix and was produced by Stage 13/Gigantic Productions.



For students, becoming a member of the Marching Wildcats will be one of their most significant life achievements. The legacy, history, and honor of earning a spot in the 300-member plus band is a pivotal moment that is often rooted in the students’ own familial histories. Expectations run high for the new generation of Marching Wildcats.



It’s difficult to convey just how important marching bands have become in the culture and climate of HBCUs unless one has lived it as an undergraduate student. While many rival institutions will take issue with the Marching Wildcats being touted as the nation’s best, that is par for the course. Let the trash-talking continue.

“Nobody works as hard as we do,” says Band Director Donovan Wells, in the series opener. “Nobody pays attention to the details as much as we do.”

 

 

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FAMU Marching 100 selects first female drum major

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Remember her name. Florida A&M University's Cori Renee Bostic, an Atlanta native, has made history as the first female drum major of its world renown, incomparable Marching 100 band. This move is so major. The Marching 100 tradition didn’t allow women in the band until 1974. Carmena Fennell, Carla Wilson and Debra Hines were the trailblazers.

Bostic is a junior in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Tau Beta Sigma Sorority. The FAMU half-time performances just got more interesting. Who knew that was possible? Homecoming 2018 will be LIT! 

 

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Miami’s Melissa Mitchell wins SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest!

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Congratulations to Melissa Mitchell, winner of the SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest! Melissa is an Atlanta-based, self-taught artist, who has a love of vibrant colors, unique shapes, and bold dark lines. Born and raised in Miami, she attributes her Bahamian heritage, melodic sounds and the colorful world around her as her greatest inspirations.  Her art has been featured around the world. Her unique head wraps, Abeille Creations, have adorned the likes of Lupita N’yongo featured in Vogue magazine. Melissa is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her art will debut on SPANX styles next Spring. Stay tuned!