April, is that you playa? Readers, it looks like we’ve made it to the beginning of a brand new month. Spring has sprung, the stimmies are stimulating, the vaccines are vaccine-ing, pollen is polluting and most of us are still somewhat subjected to the four walls of our homes. (I gotta say “most” because I’ve seen some of y’all out here wilding on Beyoncé’s internet, but who am I to judge?) Despite whatever reckless behavior that may or may not have gone down, as always, I’m here to put you on to a handful of virtual events taking place over the next week that are sure to keep your taste for fun ablaze until you feel ready to venture back into the great outdoors. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Join America’s Favorite deejay (and recent NAACP Image Awards’ Entertainer of the Year recipient) DJ D-Nice as Club Quarantine celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. The musical set will include Maxwell’s greatest hits as well as a birthday tribute to legendary singer Marvin Gaye. Afterwards, be sure to stick around for a special conversation with Maxwell. The good vibes start at 8p.m. ET only on Instagram.
At 9:00p.m. ET, the Apollo Comedy Club: A Look Back on Laughter will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the comedy club with performances from more than 15 comedians. Those include Correy Bell, Marshall Brandon, Rita Brent, Pat Brown, Dean Edwards, Drew Fraser, Brandon “Hotsauce” Glover, Rey Gibbs, Timmy Hall, former Amateur Night winner Davey Lozano, Mugga and Dino Vigo. Producer of Apollo Comedy Club and legendary producer of Def Poetry and Jam Bob Sumner will share some of the best moments from late night comedy at the Apollo Theater. Be sure to catch them livestreamed on the Apollo Digital Stage and the Apollo’s official Facebook page at 9:00p.m. ET.
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) has released Freedom Song: Interviews from Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965, curated by Michelle Kelley, Ph.D., a new online exhibit exploring the history behind and making of the groundbreaking civil rights series Eyes on the Prize. Complete with unedited interviews recorded for the series, interactive maps of locations central to the civil rights movement and a timeline of critical events, the Freedom Song exhibit will breathe new life and context into the epic series produced by filmmaker Henry Hampton’s Blackside Inc., which premiered on PBS in 1987.
The 127 raw interviews preserved from Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954 -1965, as well as from America, They Loved You Madly, the never-broadcast precursor to Eyes on the Prize, are available in the AAPB’s Eyes on the Prize Interviews Special Collection. The AAPB will also make available the full collection of unedited interviews from Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, 1965 - 1985 in the spring of 2021. To explore the exhibit, be sure to go here.
Today through September 27, 2021, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will showcase Off the Record, a group exhibition from 13 artists “that challenge the authority of mainstream documentation and question its role in constructing history.” Those artists include: Sadie Barnette, Sarah Charlesworth, Sara Cwynar, Leslie Hewitt, Glenn Ligon, Carlos Motta, Lisa Oppenheim, Adrian Piper, Lorna Simpson, Sable E. Smith, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems, whose works have been assembled from the museum’s collection. The presentation will also include a painting on loan by Tomashi Jackson. Off the Record is organized by The Root 100 2020 honoree Ashley James, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art.
Calling all dancers and lovers of dance: be sure to join the Ailey Extension for a free workshop featuring student-favorite techniques in celebration of their sweet 16 birthday. The festivities are set to begin at 3:30pm ET with a high-energy Zumba party; followed by a lesson in Horton, the technique that is the foundation for many of Alvin Ailey’s signature works and ending with a Hip Hop class that will have their hearts pumping and your feet thumping. You can save your spot by signing up here. And for more information about Ailey Extension’s expansive selection of weekly classes, feel free to visit here.
Roc Nation’s Infinity Song will perform virtually at the Apollo Music Café in celebration of the 5th Anniversary of The Apollo Comedy Club. This late-night treat is designed to bring independent, cutting-edge artists to a forward-thinking audience. Formed in 2014 in NYC, the sibling band and music collective are not only comprised of singers, but also songwriters, arrangers, instrumentalists, and music producers. Since their inception, Infinity Song has cultivated a grassroots fanbase around NYC thanks to pop-up street performances in Central Park and the NYC subway stations and have collaborated with other musical acts like Kanye West, Jon Batiste, Tori Kelly and more. The event will be hosted by Jodine Dorce, featuring music by DJ Hard Hittin Harry. Be sure to catch them livestreamed on the Apollo Digital Stage and The Apollo’s official Facebook page at 9:00p.m. ET.
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is hosting its sixth annual YBCA 100 Summit starting at 2:00p.m. ET. The YBCA 100 Summit celebrates the annual YBCA 100 honoring artists, activists, and community leaders who work towards building sustainable, equitable, and regenerative communities. This year, virtual celebration will take place on the digital event platform OhYay, in partnership with the creative cooperative Crux, which supports Black creative voices in the digital space. Attendance is free with registration.
Don’t forget to (virtually) pop out in your Sunday best (including those Stacy Adams!) for this weekend’s VERZUZ battle between legendary groups Earth, Wind and Fire and the Isley Brothers. Steve Harvey is hosting so you know both the jokes and the music are gonna be on fire. The lituation starts at 8 p.m. ET on the official VERZUZ Instagram and Triller page.
Emerald Cup Week Take Over, a high-wattage list of musical performances, comedians and visionaries in the cannabis and psychedelic industries will provide the soundtrack for The Emerald Cup Festival (debuting in a free-to-watch virtual 2021 edition on the connected-TV network Social Club TV) this week. This year, the star-studded lineup includes headliners such as Ziggy Marley, Melissa Etheridge, and Michael Franti. You can catch their performances on-demand by visiting here.
Where my New Yorkers at? In honor of World Health Day, join The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts as they launch Restart Stages, a sweeping initiative that includes 10 outdoor performances and rehearsal spaces, an outdoor performing arts center, and other outdoor civic venues to help kickstart the performing arts sector and contribute to the revival of New York City. Made possible by the Lincoln Center Board of Directors and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, this collaboration hopes to reimagine and reactivate NYC’s public spaces for a new era in an effort to provide resources to the performing arts community as a whole—helping get artists back to work and supporting institutions from Brooklyn to the Bronx. All offerings will occur outdoors with safety protocols in place for artists, audiences, and staff. Venues will include: a cabaret-style stage on Hearst Plaza, dedicated family and kids’ arts and activities areas, venues for rehearsals, space for public school graduations, an outdoor reading room, and more.
Programming will come from a myriad of Lincoln Center’s world-class artistic organizations and will include: summer evening concerts from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, film screenings from Film at Lincoln Center, a concert and cabaret series by Lincoln Center Theater, and dance workshops from New York City Ballet. Other community partners and guest curators, including the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Harlem Week and the Harlem Arts Alliance, Korean Cultural Center New York, and Weeksville Heritage Center. For more information, be sure to go here.
Toronto R&B-pop singer Ali Gatie will be putting on an exclusive live-streamed performance taking place on today and tomorrow in partnership with premium digital live platform Moment House and in honor of his latest EP The Idea of Her. To get your tix, be sure to go here.
92Y presents Criminal Injustice: Accountability & Reform, an intimate conversation about the oft-hidden cruelty and violence happening every day in courtrooms across the country, the urgent need for accountability and transparency, and what can be done about it. Featured speakers include: founder of Life after Release and a Court Watch program in Prince George’s County, MD Qiana Johnson; Marguerite Lanaux, supervising attorney in the Office of the Public Defender in Prince George’s County MD; musician and Court Watcher Fiona Apple; and Scott Hechinger, former Brooklyn public defender & now director of Zealous. Listen along as they discuss intersection of arts and criminal justice, the significance of bearing witness to abuses of power, how Court Watch prevents injustice, why we need to fight for its survival as it is under attack, and how we can all work together towards abolition. The event, which starts at 6 p.m. ET, is free to attend with registration, which you can do by visiting here.