The art exhibit has been specially curated and is meant to continue the dialogue created by the production, In Response which will run simultaneously with the exhibit which will be available one hour before show opening, during intermission and one hour after the show ends.
New works were created just for In Response and other works are conversations the artists have been working on throughout their career. Nathaniel Bellamy, Barbara Johnson Graham, Roz Myles, John David Trevino, Lamar Usher, and Connie Martin Trevino are the participating artists. This exhibition will consist of photography, collage, painting, and drawings, and reflects the artists various backgrounds, experiences, and conversations.
In Response, is a multi-media, multi-author event told from a historical perspective through poetry, short plays, video and song; a response to systemic racism throughout American history. It will address race relations and politics in America. It touches on such poignant topics as interracial relationships, slavery, lynchings, the effects of race on public perceptions, job placement, freedom, and life experiences, as well as the hope and optimism for the future of race relations in America.
There will be talkbacks and a call for audience responses after every show.
Dr. Stephanie Leigh Batiste, will lead our talkback on Sunday, April 10th. Dr. Batiste is Associate Professor in the Departments of Black Studies & English at University of California at Santa Barbara. Her book, Darkening Mirrors: Imperial Representation in Depression Era African American Performance (Duke University Press, 2011) is winner of the William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Research in African American Literature and Culture from the Modern Language Association and Honorable Mention for the Book Award from the Association for Theater in Higher Education.
As artists of color, the company felt it had to respond to the recent numerous police shootings and violence against unarmed black men and women, including the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the brutality suffered by African-Americans, beginning with slavery.
As April is also National Poetry Month, Towne Street has invited a number of Spoken Word Artists to share their poetry and feelings about racism in America.
Community Response: Towne Street Theatre would like to empower the community and engage with their audience on their responses on this topic, each week after the 8:00 p.m. Saturday shows and the 4:00 p.m. Sunday shows. The public is invited to share a poem, a spoken word piece, a letter, or a memory. The public can submit their ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.