The American Museum of Natural Historycelebrates Black History Month with Global Weekends: Stories We Tell on Saturday, February 23, from 11 am to 5 pm. The festivities, which include family-friendly activities and live musical performances, are presented in association with Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group. The program will conclude with the world premiere of “Rites of Passage,” a special musical collaboration with Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of multi-platinum hip-hop group Run-DMC, NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis, and Oscar-nominated youth ensemble IMPACT Repertory Theatre.
The Museum honors Black History Month with a tribute to storytellers and griots, who give rich voice to the African-American experience. The program will also feature master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston; Princess Grace Award-Winning choreographer Camille A. Brown; and National Slam Champion Roger Bonair-Agard of HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and the Composers Concordance.
The day’s activities, performers, and artists include:
· 11 am to 4 pm in the Grand Gallery: Jerry Craft, creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award- winning comic strip, and contributor to Essence and Ebony magazines, will show visitors how to use simple shapes to create comic book characters and stories. In celebration of opening their Manhattan Showcase School in Harlem this spring, Edible Schoolyard NYC will run seedsprouting workshops all day long and provide seed packets to visitors.
· 12 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Internationally renowned master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston, performing on the traditional 21-stringed kora, will breathe life and spirit into traditional and contemporary stories from African and African-American oral and cultural traditions.
· 1 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Composers Concordance will explore the influence of African-American and Native American music on classical and contemporary music. The performance will include a commissioned narrative poem by two-time National Slam Champion and HBO Def Poetry Jam performer Roger Bonair-Agard; exciting new music from Valerie Coleman, founder of the Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds; and works by Dan Cooper, Otto Luening, Milica Paranosic, and Gene Pritsker.
· 2 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Camille A. Brown, 2012 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award winner, will perform a solo excerpt from her new work Mr. TOL E. RAncE, which celebrates the humor and perseverance of the black performer and examines stereotypical roles dominating current popular black culture. A Q&A and workshop to follow.
· 4 pm in the Cullman Hall of the Universe: The event concludes with the world premiere of “Rites of Passage,” a special hip-hop, jazz, and youth performance group collaboration by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Delfeayo Marsalis, and IMPACT Repertory Theatre. A Q&A will follow, moderated by Museum Assistant Director of Cultural Education Monique Scott.
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