Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #27

November 27th, 2006  |  Published in Kay Bourne Arts Report

Contents
NATIVE AMERICAN MUSEUM TELLS A RICH HISTORY
SA ARTISTS FEATURED AT CRAFTS AT THE CASTLE
BLACK NATIVITY PAYS TRIBUTE TO JOHN ROSS
MIDDLE MARSALIS DOES MORE THAN MEDDLE
GROWING UP WITH RICHARD PRYOR – A BOOK REVIEW
DEJA VU CAPTIVATES AND ENTERTAINS
GAMBLING, POLITICS AND THE MONARCHY
RONALD K. BROWN’S EVIDENCE
MATTAPAN ACTOR MEETS DUCHESS OF YORK
ONE LOVE DVD’s
UPCOMING EVENTS


NATIVE AMERICAN MUSEUM TELLS A RICH HISTORY
by Kay Bourne
(pictured above: The Pequots from 1550 traveling in the birch bark canoe are modeled on Pequots of today)

234 590x398 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27The young Pequot woman stands on a rock high above the corn field flinging rocks with an uncanny accuracy at the birds invading the garden. The crows scatter. None has been killed or maimed. In her people’s cosmology, the crow’s life is of value even when the bird is a pest threatening the Pequot’s crop of maize. Corn, beans, and squash were domesticated by the Native Americans in the Northeast probably a thousand years ago.

This scene is among the breathtaking dioramas with people and animals that comprise the 36 views of daily life in a Pequot Village as it existed in 1550 (about a century before the Dutch and the English arrived on the territory now known as New York and New England). A permanent display at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center on the Mashantucket Reservation in Connecticut, the serene exhibit is part of the extensive operation run by the Mashantucket Pequots dedicated to preserving Native American culture.

Even small children can comprehend the genius of the Native Americans’ cultivation of maize, a crop that would later become a staple of the colonists’ diet. There is a wonderful audio guide you can take around with you when viewing the village. Later, you can revisit such a scene in a highly praised children’s book, “Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians” written and illustrated by Aliki (HarperTrophy, 1986). Did you know that one tiny kernel of corn can produce up to 1,000 plants? This simply put scientific text explains how corn came to be. For more of a tome try Staller, Tykot, and Bentz’s “Histories of Maize: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Prehistory, Linquistics, Biogeography, Domestication, And Evolution of Maize” at $149.00 or, perhaps, available at the library.

Other state-of-the art exhibits also have appeal to adults and children of varying ages. The Ice Age mammals Natural History tour is designed with grades K-4 in mind as the children explore Life in a Cold Climate of some 10,000 or so years ago. Youngsters learn why the mastodon, giant beaver, and dire wolf became extinct. Older children can learn about the survival of the Pequots through tragedies such as the massacre at Mystic and the Pequot War, or delve into an archaeological Pequot site (in the summer months). There are craft workshops where you can make a wampum bracelet or a corn husk toy.

The building, with its libraries (children’s library, tribal archives, and research library) and exhibition floors and outdoor picnic area is located on the very same grounds where the Foxwoods Resort & Casino and golf course sits. There is free shuttle service between the two places, or you can drive directly to the museum where there is parking. My neighbor who has never once gone into the casino belongs to the museum where she takes her grandchildren at least a couple of times a year.

Foxwoods Resort & Casino on “the res,” as staff affectionately refer to it, is an easy hour and three quarter drive from Boston on mostly highways. There are buses as well. Further info and schedules for activities and special displays such as pottery can be obtained by calling 860-396-67839 or going on-line. A Winter Moon Native Market free and open to the public is on-going until November 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. where more than a dozen Native artists will be present. The admission cost to the museum is adults $15 (seniors $13), children 6-15 $10, free for children under.

The Pequot Museum website


SA ARTISTS FEATURED AT CRAFTS AT THE CASTLE
by Kay Bourne
(pictured: Marjorie Maleka holds shoulder bag made from discarded plastic bags by women of Berkana Institute, Soweto, South Africa)

235 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27Next time you leaf through, say, “Vogue,” or, maybe, “Ebony,” or, perhaps, “GQ,” think about beads. South African artist Marjorie Maleka does.

Pick out a page whose colors attract you. Then fold the outer edge of the page from about an inch or so at the bottom into a scalene triangle so there’s no space folded at the top. Now cut out the pennant shape. Maleka demonstrates as I wonder how this tall, skinny triangle will become a bead. I do see how the page can be made into six or so more triangles.

“Cut the strip,” she directs. “Now roll tightly into a cylinder from the bottom up but leave about two inches at the top not rolled.” Maleka applies glue to this area, then finishes rolling the paper, and, indeed, there’s a bead which can be strung with other beads you make. “The text and color are now a design – that’s the beauty of the bead,” the South African artist and crafts person observes.

To complete the process, she shellacs the bead. “A fish line is good for stringing,” she says, “or you can thread a needle to poke through the hole.”

Maleka and fellow South African Bongile Mkhize, teachers at Soweto’s Berkana Institute, have traveled to Boston as part of this year’s Crafts At the Castle annual benefit for Family Services of Boston. The two environmental craft artists will be at a booth at the Hynes Convention Center throughout the exhibit selling crafts made by their students back home – all of the items created from trash.

They are guest speakers in a gallery at Northeastern’s African American Master Artists in Residency, (AAMARP) which is holding a reception for Maleka and Mkhize.

Maleka says the project begins by picking up discarded magazines, tin cans, plastic bags and the other debris strewn on the streets of her communities. She notes that while Americans have a good source of materials for this kind of crafts, “you package everything! We are better at clearing the streets.” This “up-cycling” that converts waste materials to products of greater value has a philosophical angle as well: they are helping people to shift thought from scarcity to abundance.

Prior to the three-day “Crafts at the Castle” event which runs until Sunday, December 3, the South African community activists will have held workshops at various programs funded by Family Service of Greater Boston.

Eva K. Price, who heads the Effective Black Parenting Program in Jamaica Plain, is very pleased with how involved her students got into making crafts from trash. “Our concept is for people to become ‘thinking parents,’” she said of the men and women referred to her project from the Department of Social Services, “how to think before you act and think after you act. Appeal to the mind, not the behind.”

Price’s program, which is five years strong, looks forward to December 21 which will be the 15th graduating class. She’s had some 300 graduates thus far. “I was very happy when I heard my students say after the workshop, ‘oh, I think we’ll make gifts this year.’”

The annual benefit for the 170 year old Family Service of Greater Boston is now in its 21st year and has grown from a small fair to a much anticipated event that showcases the very best of American ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal and mixed media. The artisans who come from everywhere in the country are selected through a jury process.

“Crafts at the Castle” opens with a gala, Thursday, November 30 from 5:30 – 9 pm. The show itself with 150 exhibitors begins Friday, December 1, running all day and into the evening on Saturday and Sunday, as well. For more information on “Crafts at the Castle” and “Crafts with a Conscience,” call 617-523-6400 x 5987 or visit the website with the link below. The Hynes Convention Center is located at 900 Boylston St., a block away from Massachusetts Avenue.

Family Service of Greater Boston website


BLACK NATIVITY PAYS TRIBUTE TO JOHN ROSS
by Kay Bourne
(pictured: John Ross with Elma Lewis, January 15, 1992)

236 590x406 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27“Black Nativity” was John Andrews Ross’ Christmas gift to Elma Lewis. How appropriate that the cherished song-play by Langston Hughes will this year be dedicated to John, who was for thirty six years Director of Music for the production and for the National Center of Afro-American Artists.

Elma Lewis, founder and director of The Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts (1950), The National Center of Afro-American Artists (1968) and the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (1969), already had an annual Christmas show that had proved popular. The Victor Herbert musical “Babes In Toyland” featured a performance from Vernon Blackman who headed her drama department.

When Ross joined the staff at the NCAAA as its music director, however, he proposed another Christmas time production, all together. Edmund Barry Gaither, the NCAAA museum’s director, recalls that John initially presented a version of “Black Nativity” he’d created to the NCAAA board of directors at its annual winter meeting. According to Gaither, Ross had reinvented a far simpler version of the “Black Nativity” he’d seen, adding a dramatic dance enhanced by African drumming, featuring a live baby for the infant Jesus, and rearranging and deleting musical numbers within the song-play, with permission granted from the Hughes’ estate.

Ross had known Langston Hughes well. Ross’ father, Melvin E. Ross and Hughes had roomed together as students at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and Hughes often stayed with the Ross family when Harlem’s poet laureate visited Boston.

Langston Hughes wrote “Black Nativity” in 1957. It is a retelling of the Christmas story with narration by Hughes and songs from the gospel church. Hughes focused on the miracle of Christ’s birth – and that the poor parents had taken refuge in a manger when the inn keeper would not give them a room. Hughes also wrote about the angels appearing to shepherds on the hillside and of the star in the East which magi from followed. All of it he put into the context of black culture.

Ross had seen a production that had come in from New York with Vinette Carroll, the Alex Bradford Singers, Marian Williams, and the Stars of Faith. The cast total was twelve.

In later years, Ross told this writer that “it’s not that my concept of ‘Black Nativity’ demands a large company, but rather that we at the NCAAA and the school find that ‘Black Nativity’ is an opportunity to have a very interesting community event.” Ross’ choruses of The Black Persuasion and Children of the Black Persuasion were invented to sing “Black Nativity.”

Nor did Ross ever restrict the size of the cast. One year he had ten dancers from Andrea Herbert Major’s Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts.

As the years passed, the show could also boast its veterans, such as world renown African drummer, teacher and Remo signature series artist Leon Mobley who started out with “Black Nativity” when he was only seven years old. Other returning cast members have been Wilbur Best, Vivian Cooley, Janice Allen, Alda Marshall, Terri Taylor, Carrie Webb, Verna Spaulding, and dozens more.

Now in its 37th year as a NCAAA production, Black Nativity opens December 1 at Converse Hall, Tremont Temple, 88 Tremont St. in downtown Boston, between the Park St. and Government Center MBTA stations. The show will run for twelve performances, the first three weekends of the month, concluding December 17. Tickets are $41, $32.50, $25 and $17.50 for children and adults, available at 617- 423- 6000, or for groups of 20+, call 617-585-6366 and mention the promotional code “go tell it” for a 15% discount.

John Ross said of “Black Nativity” that “I think it is a very clear expression of how we as Black Americans see the whole world as one creation with a divine basis, rather than splitting reality into categories of the spiritual and temporal.”

“So, for instance, rhythm through gospel music finds a place in our church because everything in the world springs from creation and can be used in service of a spiritual expression,” he said. John Ross (1940 – 2006) died in July this year.

BLACK NATIVITY ticket information


MIDDLE MARSALIS DOES MORE THAN MEDDLE
by Kay Bourne
(pictured: Delfeayo Marsalis – Minions Dominions cd cover)

237 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis hops to it on “Brer Rabbit,” the sprightly opening salvo of an excellent outing for the middle child of the musical Marsalis family, “Minions Dominions,” D.M.’s third album.

You can picture the Deep South trickster hare as he bounces along with buds: the lumbering Brer Bear as Robert Hurst III on walking bass, the wily Brer Fox as Donald Harrison on alto sax, and the rest of the feisty bunch, Elvin Jones on drums and Mulgrew Miller on piano. The original composition from D.M. was made as the closing theme of the ABC mini-series “Moon Over Miami,” but easily transfers mentally to the Delta and the days when Black people survived through their wits and culture.

The CD warrants many hearings. The drum fanatics will groove to “Lone Warrior” composed for Elvin Jones who swings on his own tribute, he also dominates here and there on the title track “Minions Dominion.” There’s a ballad, “If You Only Knew.” My personal favorite is the joyful interpretation of the Duke Ellington classic “Just Squeeze Me.”

This enjoyable CD concludes with D.M.’s “Lost in the Crescent,” which goes to remind listeners of the New Orleans roots of the Marsalis family extraordinaire. Delfeayo inherits his bebop/swing trombone legacy from Bennie Green (Earl Hines, Duke Ellington) but, interestingly, we can go back a lot further than the 40′s to find D.M.’s trombone heritage. In New Orleans back in the 1830′s, the major melody instruments gained popularity as musicians, we might consider the great-grandparents of jazz, Alessandro Gambati (trumpet), James Kendall (clarinet), and Felippe Cioffi (trombone), electrified the city with their solo performances between the acts of operas.

Delfeayo Marsalis website


GROWING UP WITH RICHARD PRYOR – A BOOK REVIEW
by Josiah Crowley
(Click the book cover to view it on Amazon.com)

238 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27“Daddy, the whores need to be paid”, 8-year-old Rain Pryor told her father, comedian Richard Pryor, as they sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. After a stunned silence, everyone at the dinner table erupted into laughter. The kid wasn’t trying to be funny; she was simply repeating what one of the prostitutes stashed in her father’s bedroom had stated moments earlier.

Rain Pryor’s memoir “Jokes My Father Never Told Me: Life, Love and Loss With Richard Pryor” written with Cathy Crimmins (Regan Books) is not the definitive biography of “the most brilliant comic in America” acknowledged Neil Simon who “seemed to transcend comedy when he spoke to us” as actor Morgan Freeman once said. That book has yet to be written.

Rather, it’s a fascinating insider’s look at the man who “was better than anyone who ever picked up a microphone,” Eddie Murphy has said.

Best known for her role in the hit ’80′s TV sit-com, HEAD OF THE CLASS, Rain’s book covers both her father’s professional and personal life. She begins with his start on the black-owned “chitlin’ circuit” for black performers and audiences, and goes on to his quick rise into mainstream show business where his initial success was as a “safe” stand-up whose act covered the same material as the “middle-class comedy” of Bill Cosby.

Though professionally successful, Pryor was unfulfilled. He eventually reached back into his childhood to create characters based on those he grew up with in Peoria, Illinois. It’s this work that took Pryor to a new level, where he “opened the biggest door and turned the light on in the room,” observed Roseanne Barr. No one previously in mainstream show business had articulated the pain, the rage, or even the experience of Black America. And while doing this, Pryor changed American comedy forever. Though he had a very successful film career during this period (LADY SINGS THE BLUES, SILVER STREAK, etc.), it is for his raw stand-up comedy that Pryor is revered.

The childhood memories Pryor explored in his act are described in this memoir. Pryor was raised in a series of brothels run by his grandmother, Mamma. The prostitutes doted on their madam’s grandson. Young Richard’s “favorite whore” was his mother, “a temperamental drunk who would disappear for months on end.” And while this made mesmerizing material for his act, Pryor “carried that whorehouse around for the rest of his life”, according to Rain.

Rain is the daughter of her father’s second wife, Shelley, who had been under contract as a dancer at Columbia Pictures, before her marriage to Pryor. After the divorce, Shelley moved to NYC in an unsuccessful attempt to break into Broadway musicals. Instead, she danced less prestigious venues at night (“Jewish girls didn’t use the word stripper” writes Rain) while neighbor Miles Davis babysat young Rain.

Returning to LA, Shelley begged for financial help from her parents, talent managers whose clients included Danny Kaye. They encouraged their daughter to place Rain for adoption. As her maternal grandmother told Rain: “It’s not that we were ashamed our daughter married a black man, but did the neighbors have to know?”

Rain was raised in a series of chaotic environments. Her mother never seemed to get her act together, as she passed through various phases: crystals, The Course in Miracles, etc. Her maternal grandparents called Rain their “mocha-colored Jewish princess” and introduced her to the Hebrew culture; Pryor’s grandmother, Mamma, constantly reminded Rain she was Black. To this day, Rain writes, she is conflicted about being bi-racial. It’s been a long haul to stop “being a chameleon” in attempts to receive love from her self-involved parents and from the world at large.

Rain has great affection for her father, but her story pulls no punches. The book describes the pre-pubescent Rain cutting up and serving cocaine to her father. His misogyny and violence towards women. Her father’s home, where Rain lived ages 5-13, overflowed with hostile ex-wives, girlfriends, drugs and prostitutes, 24/7.

Rain describes both the terror of the night the Pryor lit himself on fire while free-basing, and of how he used that incident as material for his comedy act.

Finally, Rain describes the long, painful descent of illness that were her father’s final years: the slow, painful suffering from multiple sclerosis; the hangers-on by his wheelchair – with their hands out for his money and drugs; her father’s belated attempts at sobriety and regrets as a father. “Why do you love me, Rainy, when I can be so mean?” he asks the adult Rain. The comic genius was clueless about the answer to that question: Because you were her father.

Again, this memoir is not the ultimate Richard Pryor bio we hope to read one day, but it more than suffices as we await that book.

Harper Collins books website


DEJA VU CAPTIVATES AND ENTERTAINS
by Lisa Simmons
(pictured: Paula Patton (on monitor) and Denzel Washington)
Photo Credit: Robert Zuckerman © Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer, Inc., All Rights Reserved

232 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27Enemy of the State meets Lake House meets Memento with the added touch of Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott. Deja Vu takes you on a thrilling ride of intrigue, mystery and thought-provoking storytelling. A great vehicle for Denzel Washington as he plays a work-a-holic ATF agent investigating the bombing of a ferry in New Orleans.

Throughout the movie we are asked to come along on this psychological journey of quantum physics and suspend belief at moments and be flexible in your thinking in order to ask the question “What if?”

Like many other time-travel movies, Deja Vu looks at the possibilities and the idea behind the quantum physics theory that suggests that deja vu exists because of parallel universes that accidentally intersect when the fabric of space-time is disrupted. In doing this, Doug Carlin (Washington) is able to investigate the death of young woman, Claire Kuchever (Paula Patton) who died in the past while he is still in the present. During this investigation, we see a love story emerging. It was one of the things that drew Washington to the role. “I loved that a big part of this story is a love story in reverse.” says Washington.

Far fetched? Maybe, but the film is not asking you to accept this hook line and sinker, it is just asking you to consider the possiblity. With state of the art surveillance and a government that keeps many of its technological innovations to itself, anything is possible. “I want audiences to leave the theater thinking this type of travel through time is really possible. When the audience takes that leap with us, they’ll be swept up in the story” says Tony Scott, the film’s Director.

With a star studded cast such as Val Kilmer (Top Gun), Jim Caviezel (The Passion of The Christ), Erika Alexander (Living Single) and may more, Deja Vu delves deeper into the area of terrorism, national security, surveillance and the reality that we are being watched, while raising the question by whom?

Deja Vu is a good entertaining film. See it, discuss it, analyze it, but most of all, enjoy it.

Deja Vu official website


GAMBLING, POLITICS AND THE MONARCHY
Daniel Craig (left) and Jeffrey Wright (right)
Photo Credit: Jay Maidment

240 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27Bond is Back! 007 is a force to be reckoned with once again. Gone are the days of gentlemanliness of Roger Moore, (the 007 who could have been part of the Royal Family) and back are the days of Sean Connery and hard, chisled non-emotional 007′s. Daniel Craig pulls it off and has you wondering what all they hype was about him playing Bond.

From the opening credits you realize you are in for an action packed ride, and a ride it is. Going back to the beginning days of Bond, Casino Royale gives insight into who James Bond is, how he became an agent and why he is the way he is, emotionally detached. The always amazing Jeffrey Wright (Lackawanna Blues, Ali) plays Bond’s American counterpart, both working to take down terrorism one card at a time. At 2 hours and 20 minutes this film flies by and leaves you wanting more.

The Kennedy’s have been a part of national and local history for as long as any of us can remember. From JFK to Robert Kennedy to Ted Kennedy and all the others who came before, with and after them, they are a family America is still intrigued with. Bobby the new film by actor/director/writer Emilio Estevez focuses on the the day that Bobby Kennedy was assasinated and the lives of 22 people who were at the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968 to see him give a speech and who were affected in some way by the death of this humble man.

The film is really a story about relationships between individuals and how a mood, a certian time in history affects those relationship whether you are young or old, rich or poor, white, black or brown. It is about human nature and how one man brings all these people together under his vision and his dream for America. With a star studded cast including, Harry Belafonte, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Fishburne, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Martin Sheen, Nick Cannon, and many more, this film is a virtual who’s who of Hollywood, both young and old. Heartfelt and endearing, this fictional account of the day Bobby Kennedy was shot, is worth the couple of hours to go back in time and remember.

Helen Mirren fans, here is your opportunity to see this amazing actress at what I think, is her best. Aside from the fact that I am intrigued by British Royality and the scandal surrounding Princess Diana’s death, the acting in this film is nothing short of amazing.

The Queen is set during the time of Princess Diana‘s death and tells the story of Queen Elizabeth‘s feelings and actions (or inactions) while a country and a world mourned the death of one of it’s most beloved figures. Another trip down memory lane, this film touches on a part of history that moved the world to tears and questioned the British Monarchy’s silence while the world grieved.

Beautifully written, directed and shot, this fictional account of real events gives us a revealing insight into the minds and thoughts of Tony Blair, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabet during this painful time.


RONALD K. BROWN’S EVIDENCE
(photo credit: Basil Childers)
242 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27Described as “Brilliant . . . one of the major modern dance choreographers to emerge in the past ten years.” by Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times, Ronald K. Brown’s EVIDENCE performs at The Cutler Majestic Theatre for two shows only, December 1 and 2.

Blending African, modern, ballet and hip-hop dance styles, Ronald K. Brown’s powerful choreography offers finely crafted, exquisitely danced stories about heritage, truth, destiny and mankind’s desire to liberate the spirit within. Watch ROOTZ TO RHYTHM tv on Boston Comcast channel 23 between 10 – 11pm to watch a performance by EVIDENCE, as they dance to Bob Marley’s WAR.

World Music/CRASHarts is offering a 2-for-the-price-of-1 SPECIAL for the Ronald Brown performances, valid over the phone, only, and must be ordered before November 29. Just call 617-817-4275 and mention you saw the “RONALD BROWN 2-for-1 Special” in the Kay Bourne Arts Report when ordering. The Cutler Majestic theatre is located at 219 Tremont Street, downtown, Boston.
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE ticket info


MATTAPAN ACTOR MEETS DUCHESS OF YORK
239 590x346 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27Amari Veale of Mattapan (3rd from Right with rabbit ears), member of the Boston Children’s Theatre, performed for The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson (4th from Left) at a recent tea party at the InterContinental Hotel.

Attendees included local non-profit organizations that have received funding from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern New England. Amari is in Boston Children’s Theatre’s interactive “snack theatre” production of “Bears Bears Everywhere” presently at the Grand Lodge of Masons in Boston.

For information on upcoming Boston Children’s Theatre events and performances,
call (617) 424-6634 or visit their website link below. Boston Children’s Theatre website


ONE LOVE DVD’s
198 590x834 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27 Only a few more Official ONE LOVE dvd’s and cd’s featuring Ky-Mani Marley and Cherine Anderson are left!! Below are actual comments from some who attended TCOF’s Official ONE LOVE dvd & cd RELEASE PARTY in March 2006 at RCC, when the co-star, CHERINE ANDERSON attended as our special guest:

“Fantastic. I loved it.”
“…Proud to be a Jamaican tonight.”
“…Thank you for opening that movie to the Boston community. It was REALLY good! Hopefully, more quality movies like that will come out of Jamaica and marketed abroad…”

“…Better than The Harder They Come…”
“…a complete experience to come to a public setting and see a Black love story that ends on a positive note with such talented young people…”

“It was really an immense pleasure to attend the ONE LOVE event. I enjoyed watching a bunch of our young, Black people show-casing their talents. Also, I enjoyed the movie, including the young woman from Jamaica who played the lead role…She was wonderful…”

The Official ONE LOVE dvd and cd are the first of many quality, independent films and products available to you, through TCOF. The ONE LOVE dvd is $20 and the soundtrack is $16 by emailing an order to robin@coloroffilm.com or visiting The Color of Film website . Order ONE LOVE dvd and cd here


UPCOMING EVENTS
241 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #27URBAN NUTCRACKER, the family holiday classic with an inner-city edge, is December 8 – 17, this year at John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley Street, downtown Boston. World-renowned Flamenco dancer Isaac de los Reyes makes his Urban Nutcracker debut in a sizzling dance duet with five-season Urban Nutcracker tap super star, Khalid Hill (also an original dancer in Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in the ‘Da Funk.) Tickets are $20/$32/$40 To order tickets and for more information call 877-548-3237 or click here.

December 1 marks the opening of Boston’s 37th consecutive season of Langston Hughes’ BLACK NATIVITY. This year’s twelve performances are dedicated to the memory of John Andrew Ross (1940-2006), and his 36 years of service as Black Nativity’s Musical Director. Performances at The Tremont Temple, 88 Tremont Street in downtown Boston are the first three weekends in December. Tickets are $41, $32.50, $25 and $17.50 and for information click here or call 617-423-6000.

Crossing cultural and geographical borders is the subject explored in paintings of Dorchester artist Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper on display at Thayer Academy in Braintree, November 13 through December 15. Paintings in oils and watercolors depict the cultures of India, where she lived in the late 1990s, and Jamaica, her native country, which she visits often. The opening reception is Thursday, November 16, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Regular gallery hours are 8 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. The Thayer campus is at 745 Washington Street, near the Braintree stop on the Red Line. For more information, contact Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper at 617-825-9760 or Anni McDonough, curator of Thayer Arts Gallery, at 781-843-3580.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS to the 4th Youth Edition of the Roxbury Literary Annual. Teen Writers Wanted – Submissions due by December 1. Contact Terri Brown at 617- 849-6323.

The world premiere screening of the movie, THE BUSKER is December 2, at Cyrus W. Irish Auditorium, Lowell High School, 50 French Street, Lowell. Tickets are $10 Doors open at 6pm. Cast and crew reception immediately following at THE REVOLVING MUSEUM, in Lowell. Send an email to request details.
About the Film: A white cop is acquitted of shooting an unarmed black man. Violence erupts and the city is overcome with riots. Sirens echo through the streets. Fires rip through businesses and homes. One man is killed. Seamus O’Mallie, a 13 year-old white boy, watches as his father is shot to death outside his home. Months later, it’s the Christmas season. While busking (street performing for money) with his violin on Boston streets, Seamus meets two strangers who will change his life. Ruby is a precocious and sympathetic black girl with whom he falls in love. Oliver, an older music instructor, becomes a father figure who presents him with an opportunity to get off the streets and pursue a dream in London. Now, Seamus must choose between his present feelings and a promise for his future. Visit the website at www.TheBuskerTheMovie.com for movie details.

Three lectures by Maryse Condé, Professor Emerita of French, Columbia University scheduled for Tuesday, December 5 – Aimé Césaire: The Journey Back to a Mythical Africa. Wednesday, December 6 – Frantz Fanon: Africa as a Colonial Reality Thursday, December 7 Maryse Condé’s ‘Segu’: The End of Myth?
All lectures are free and open to the public, beginning each day at 4pm in the Thompson Room at the Barker Center at Harvard University. A reception follows each lecture. For more information, call Harvard University’s William E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at 617-495-3611 or click here.

Sunday, December 10, 6 – 7:30pm GYBSO‘s ICP – The Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program presents a FREE Holiday Concert at Roxbury Community College‘s Media Arts Center featuring The Boston Children’s Chorus and introducing ICP’s first year cello, violin, viola and bass students, ages 5 – 12.

Local craftsman and artisans will display and sell their products in the main gallery of the The Revolving Museum, 22 Shattuck Street, Lowell, MA at the Holiday Artisan Bazaar on Sunday, December 17, 11am – 4pm. Free admission. Get some holiday shopping done while supporting the livelihood of local artists. Up to twelve different booths will feature a variety of media and styles. Artists interested in participating, please contact lmc@revolvingmuseum.org. For info call 978-YES-ARTS or visit the Revolving Museum’s website here .

OrigiNation’s Annual Kwanzaa Performance is Saturday, December 23, 3 – 5pm. Tickets on sale now for $12 in advance, $15 at the door. At The Back Bay Events Center (formerly known as John Hancock Hall) 180 Berkeley Street (corner of Stuart Street) with discounted parking at 100 Clarendon St. Garage with validated tickets. For more info contact OrigiNations at (617) 541-1875.

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About The Color of Film

The Color of Film Collaborative is a non-profit organization that supports and fosters the individuals and organizations in the creation of diverse images of people of color in film, video, theater and other media, by providing artists with opportunities to exhibit, distribute and find funding for their work, as well as provide a supportive environment where they can share and develop their ideas, their vision and their work with their peers. About Us

Roxbury International Film Festival

Join us July 29th - August 1st, 2010 for the 12th Annual Roxbury Film Festival. Incredible movies will be playing and other events will be happening and more. Find out more

Dinner & A Movie (DAAM)


In collaboration with The Haley House Bakery Café, the Color of Film Collaborative presents our ongoing film series, featuring independent cinema and delicious food. Read more...

The Roxbury International Film Festival



Now going into its 12th year, the Roxbury International Film Festival is proudly presented by The Color of Film Collaborative to promote productions of color. Find out more here...

Contribute to The Color of Film


Help give back to the Arts in Boston - contribute to the Color of Film Collaborative today with a Donation or as a Volunteer. Contribute to TCOF