Put On Your Dancing Shoes and Get Ready to Be Transformed With This Week's Virtual Events

Illustration for article titled Put On Your Dancing Shoes and Get Ready to Be Transformed With This Week's Virtual Events
Photo: Paul Kolnik/Courtesy of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Another week, another gang of virtual events to get you through. If you’re anything like me and are still a bit hesitant about rushing outside just because Moneybagg Joe President Joe Biden has released the stimmys and the vaccines—don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Everything ain’t for everybody and while outside may be alluring for some, it may not be for others. And that’s OK! So if you prefer to stay indoors for just a wee bit longer and get your entertainment on with some more online events, keep reading.


Before we get into it, I’d like to highlight a very special project. The G.A.P. Van is a multi-use, collaborative mobile art exhibition, workshop space and crosstown poster project that will engage residents of Tulsa as the city approaches the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. This project is led by Rick Lowe, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow known for reinventing community revitalization as an art form. The acronym G.A.P is a reference to the R&B group Gap Band. The acronym stands for Greenwood/Archer and Pine, their home and the boundary streets of historic Greenwood, popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” and the site of one of the most devastating racial massacres in the country’s history. The G.A.P. Van will travel across Tulsa as an homage to the city, asking residents to use their stories and voices to advance a powerful, healing approach to commemoration and memorial. If you’re in the Tulsa area, you can catch the exhibition anytime before May 15. If you’re not in the Tulsa area, you can visit here to see the van in action, thanks to PBS.

Now, let’s hop to it.

March 18

 Vital StrategiesOverdose Prevention program will be featured during South by Southwest (SXSW) 2021, providing an influential platform to urge policymakers and advocacy groups to end the criminalization of drugs and invest in a public health response to save lives. This timely topic will be examined from diverse viewpoints: a reverend, a criminal justice professional, a public health expert, and a harm reduction professional. Panelists will discuss how we can shape a future that decriminalizes drugs, centers racial justice, and shapes a harm reduction landscape. This discussion comes at a critical point in the US overdose epidemic which claimed more than 80,000 lives last year and has risen sharply during the pandemic. The virtual session “Decriminalize Drugs to Reduce Harm and Build Justice,” will take place as part of SXSW’s New Urgency track and feature public health, faith, harm reduction, and criminal justice leaders working to decriminalize drugs. Speakers include Director of Drug Use Initiatives at Vital Strategies Daliah Heller, Founding Director Salvation and Social Justice, Assistant Director of Diversion and Deflection at City of Philadelphia Kurt August, and Director of Programs at Wellness Services Teresa Springer. Be sure to visit here to register.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre is returning with it’s free all access programming for the spring. Beginning March 17, Ailey All Access will premiere on select nights at 7p.m. ET and will be available online for a two-week period. For more information on what shows will be available, be sure to go here.

Illustration for article titled Put On Your Dancing Shoes and Get Ready to Be Transformed With This Week's Virtual Events
Photo: Paul Kolnik/ Courtesy of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Join artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley; composer Trevor Mathison, a collaborator on Bradley’s America; and scholar Tina Campt, author of Listening to Images, for a conversation exploring the significance of archives and the process of imagining to bring forth forgotten histories and memories as a practice of archival repair—a theme throughout Bradley’s work. This is the culminating event for the Memories for the Future workshop series, a special selection of films created by workshop participants will premier during the evening’s program.This program is presented in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of Projects: Garrett Bradley, held at MoMA as part of a multiyear partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1. Projects: Garrett Bradley is on view at MoMA through Sunday, March 21. To RSVP for the conversation, you can head here.

At 9 p.m. ET, the Wa Na Wari Black Art Center will be showcasing Films for Isolation, a series of short films from four Black queer artists centering their exploration of the self as it is perceived internally. Investigation themes of visibility and home, every piece aims to bring us all closer to the source; remembering what truly matters. Films for Isolation, which was curated by Alima Lee includes four short films by Lee, Rikkí Wright, Clifford Prince King, and Sydney Canty. The free event will be available to view online on the Wa Na Wari official Facebook page.


March 19

LinkedIn will be hosting TransformHER, the premier conference dedicated to supporting professional women of color in technology and their allies including conversations with Bozoma Saint John, Shelley Zalis , Kelvin Beachum Jr., Rosanna Durruthy and more. The focus of this year’s event will be centered around up-leveling self, industry, and the sentiment that when we as a society are dedicated to uniting, educating, and celebrating each other—“we rise together.” To register for this event, head on over to their website.


March 20

The Ailey Extension program, which “brings dance back to the people” has leapt from the studio into homes with an expanded slate of online offerings, including Absolute Beginner Ballet, Horton and Afro-Cuban classes and workshops to mark the first day of spring. To find and register for any of the upcoming classes, make sure you visit their website.


New York’s New Federal Theatre is continuing their “New Federal Theatre Celebrates Women’s History Month,” retrospective readings series. Up next is “Ma Rose” by Cassandra Medley, directed by Eileen Morris and featuring Denise Burse Fernandez, Elain Graham, Nambi E. Kelley, Lizan Mitchell, Kim Sullivan. ‘’Ma Rose’’ tells the story of an aged matriarch who finds her mind and her life are slowly slipping away. She considers her wandering mind and her contact with ancestors an opportunity to gain wisdom and make amends. Stubbornly wanting to hold on to her independence, she is eventually visited by a slew of relatives determined to give her a final push. The reading, which is free to view, can be accessed by visiting here.

In honor of Vincent Truitt, a 17-year-old tragically killed in the culmination of a car chase by the Cobb County police last summer, Legal Equalizer—the mobile app that allows users to record encounters with police officers, immigration officers or active shooters will host virtual town hall event starting at 1pm ET, to unpack the necessary discussions with activists, legal experts and the cast of the NEW movie Equal Standard, including Ice-T & Fredro Starr. The film illustrates the tensions between law enforcement and the black community after an officer shoots an unarmed black man. The town hall will feature a myriad of speakers including activist and founder of Legal Equalizer Mbye Njiea, Atlanta-based civil rights activist and attorney involved in the Truitt case Gerald A. Griggs, Screenwriter, Producer and Director of Equal Standard Taheim Bryan, Film, Actor and model Tobias Truvillion and more. Legal Equalizer is also the only app that lets the user notify loved ones in real-time, provides information on legal rights and grants access to real-time legal advice from professionals. To register for the town hall, be sure to go here.

Illustration for article titled Put On Your Dancing Shoes and Get Ready to Be Transformed With This Week's Virtual Events
Graphic: Courtesy of Legal Equalizer

March 25

Join 92Y for a series of conversations about the state of democracy with leading journalists, scholars, artists, activists and public servants about what’s at stake—and find out what we can all do to ensure peaceful transitions of power, stop the spread of misinformation, encourage maximal voter participation and hold our elected officials accountable. The program starts at noon with comedians Amber Ruffin and Ashley Nicole Black joining in for a special Late Night Democracy talk at 3 p.m. ET. For the full day’s schedule and to register (for the free, I might add), be sure to go here.


Baltimore Center Stage has announced the cast and artistic team for the world premiere of The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls, the first offering of the Mainstage Series. The virtual world premiere play is written by multi-platform storyteller Keli Goff and features a collection of monologues in the tradition of For Colored Girls…that explores the complex relationship women have with their hair, and reveals that for Black women in particular, hair is deeply personal and political. In addition to Goff, all of the major creative and crew roles for this production are filled by a team of extraordinary Black women. The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls begins streaming March 25 through April 18, visit here to get your tickets.

Illustration for article titled Put On Your Dancing Shoes and Get Ready to Be Transformed With This Week's Virtual Events
Graphic: Courtesy of Baltimore Center Stage



That picture illustrating the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is absolutely gorgeous.  I don’t know who the woman is, but her pose and the dress make her look like a flower.