Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #64

November 26th, 2008  |  Published in Kay Bourne Arts Report


by Kay Bourne
(pictured: Gretchen Jackson)

568 590x443 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64The German philosopher Meister Eckhard writing, in the 13th century noted that “if the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough.” Some KBAR readers tell us what they are thankful for:

GRETCHEN FLIPPIN JACKSON recently celebrated her 90th birthday. A media pioneer, she was the first African American woman in the Boston area to have her own radio show which was popular from 1952 onwards. For the past twenty years she has cared for a paraplegic son.

“I have all the blessings,” she said. “I can walk. Do my own cooking. I’m competent. I get up, clean up, do the cooking, all of that. I feel great. I use a walker, sometimes, because I don’t want to fall. I don’t have pain. I am grateful that I can live independently. My vision is 20/20. I’m very happy and very grateful for my blessings.”

“The Gretchen Jackson Show,” which began on WVOM and which she took to WBMS ultimately aired from the roof garden at the Hotel Somerset.

AKIBA ABAKA, 29, is the founder and producing artistic director of the Up You Mighty Race theater company which recently produced the much applauded “In The Continuum” at the Boston Center for the Arts where UYMR is a resident company. She is also a student at UMass Boston where she is completing a degree in psychology.

“I am thankful for my heart and for my mother,” she said. “My mother is very kind and very motherly. My heart is the source of my creativity and is where my art comes from. My heart is the reason I love humanity. If it was my head that was the source, I’d be very mean.”

A product of the Boston Children’s Theatre, the Teen Neighborhood Theatre at the Lyric, and the Strand Teen Players at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester, Abaka at age 18 worked as an assistant to playwright August Wilson while he was developing “Jitney” at the Huntington Theater which inspired her to start her own company that would explore the intricacies of Black life and culture. Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira‘s powerful drama “In The Continuum” is about two women, a married South African TV commentator and a teenager in South Central L.A. who have been stricken with the HIV/AIDS virus.

KATE SNODGRASS, 60, is the artistic director of both the Boston Theater Marathon and Derek Walcott’s the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (which she runs with Jacob Strautmann, the managing director of BPT).

She said that “I am thankful for my dear friends first and foremost. They put up with a lot from me and they have the patience of saints. I am thankful for Jacob because he has a lot of good ideas that he’s not afraid to try. And Nicholas, the theater dog, a cockapoo, because I can warm my hands on him and he likes all the shows and is not a critic.”

Snodgrass, who is also an award winning playwright, lectures in Playwriting in the Boston University Graduate School and is a Playwriting Fellow with the Huntington Theater Company.

LISA TERRY, also a playwright and a teacher in the Boston Public Schools at the Snowden International High School in the Copley Square area of Boston, is thankful for “my creativity. Without it, I’d be a selfish person. I bring my creativity with me whereever I go, particularly in the classroom where it gives me strength and endurance. It allows me not only to prosper but be passionate with myself, my family, my colleagues, my students. I’m thankful for people who make sacrifices, who go beyond themselves for someone else. I’m thankful for the children. No matter what they go through, no matter how bad the situation is they live in, they always have hope. I didn’t have an easy life but I didn’t let go of hope. That hope, in time, provides a material change. It’s one reason we can have an African American president now. I am thankful for my husband who’s the nicest guy and my best friend and I’m thankful my teen-age son has a free spirit and wants to have fun in life and that he’s intelligent and a nice kid. He told me he wants to go to college. I’m thankful he values education. I’m thankful he didn’t grow up in a different day and age with that color line thing. He doesn’t have those boundaries on who he loves. Those things are disappearing from our world.”

JIMMY GUILFORD, 97, a retired master barber, hair stylist, and entrepreneur, has lived in the lower Roxbury neighborhood all of his life excepting three years in the military fighting in the Pacific during World War II. His customers included band leaders Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and baseball great Jackie Robinson. A painter too, he maintains a studio at the Piano Craft Building.

“I’m thankful for being alive, for one thing,” he says, “Ninety-seven is a long time. I am thankful that I am in good health and able to appreciate life. I still do the things I am accustomed to doing. I have my hearing, my eyesight. I drive my car. I walk around. I have my appetite. I am very strong physically. I think it’s all in the attitude you have. I give to the world and I don’t expect too much. Be willing to give of yourself from the heart and believe it’s the right thing to do and don’t look for a pat on the back. Whatever you do, do it well.”

Mr. Guilford, who was born at home in an apartment on the third floor of a brick building at 28 Sterling Street (now Melnea Cass Blvd.), has been working on a narrative of the people who live and worked in this vibrant, self-contained, Black community so much of which was demolished in the mid ’60′s to build a highway, until Governor Frank Sargent called a halt to the destruction.


by Kay Bourne
Pictured Tony Williams (Photo credit Petr Metlicka)

567 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64Ballet master TONY WILLIAMS greets the 8th annual presentation of his re-imagining of the “Nutcracker” with undiminished enthusiasm. The secret to his passion in staging “TONY WILLIAMS’ URBAN NUTCRACKER” is proclaimed in the very title of the dance theater piece. Not only is he the producer and director but the dance celebration of Boston’s cultural diversity is highly autobiographical.

In a sense, “Tony Williams’s Urban Nutcracker” comes full circle. “The Nutcracker,” a fairy tale ballet in two acts, three scenes by Pyotr Ilyvich Tchaikovsky, was based on a story by a writer who, like Tony, had a mixed race parentage. Tony’s dad, a Black American, met and married his mom while based as a serviceman in Italy. The famous French author Alexandre Dumas, pere, (“The Three Musketeers,” “The Count of Monte Cristo”) was the grandson of a nobleman who while living in Haiti had a child with an Afro Caribbean former slave Marie-Cesette. Their son, Dumas’s father, was a general in Napoleon’s army. The story-line for “The Nutcracker” is an adaptation by E.T.A. Hoffman of a story by Dumas “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” The ballet was first performed December 18, 1892 but the complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity until around the mid-1960s. The ballet received a second infusion of a black sensibility when Duke Ellington with Billy Strayhorn wrote a whimsical jazz “Nutcracker Suite” based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet in 1960.

The eagerly anticipated “Tony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker” opens DECEMBER 5 with performances through DECEMBER 21 at John Hancock Hall, 180 Clarendon St. in the Copley Sq. neighborhood of downtown Boston.

One of the distinctive scenes that sets this Nutcracker apart from any other is the original add-on, the Prologue, which simulates holiday shoppers on a street in Roxbury. As part of the backdrop, you’ll notice a pudding stone wall reminiscent of the one bordering Horatio Harris Park (formerly Fountain Square) at Harold and Townsend Streets, a block or so from where Tony’s family lived for a time. One of the hurrying figures in the bustle of last minute shopping is a young boy dragging a red cart, very like the one Tony and other young teens parked at the local super market near Bromley Heath when the family relocated there; the “hustle” of those times was to drag groceries home for shoppers for a quarter tip.

In addition to the doo wop singers and the hip hop dancers, there is always a dance “face off” in the Prologue. This year that “throw down” sees the return to the show of Roxbury son, tap dancer KHALID HILL, now of Brooklyn, whose training at Andrea Herbert’s Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts prepared him for Broadway’s “Bring On Da Noise, Bring on Da Funk.”

Hill, who was in earlier “Nutcracker” productions, will battle an Irish step dancer (BRENDAN O’BRIEN or DOUG LeCOURS). (Last year’s competitive dancing was between a hoofer and a flamenco dancer). This competition recalls the emergence of tap around 1841 when William Henry Lane aka Master Juba, reputedly the best dancer anyone had ever seen, had a cutting session in Boston with Irishman Jack Diamond, also a top dog in the dance world of the time. It’s not recorded who won that match, probably because they both claimed the honor.

Williams himself danced in the first “Nutcracker” staged by the Boston Ballet in Boston in 1965 in a theater on Mass. Ave. between Huntington and Boylston, since demolished. Arthur Fieldler conducted.

“It was a big success,” recalls Williams, now the head of Ballet Rox school for dance which stages his “Urban Nutcracker.”

“Here I was a kid from the projects, a teenager, and I had a talent that was a ticket to ride. Coming from a family of nine with an alcoholic father performing in a ballet from the courts of French kings,” he says.

The heady experience has stayed with him, as was the passion he felt for dance and saw that the other dancers felt as well. Now he sees that excitement in the children at his school as they prepare to be in the show. Some 85 of them will dance in “Tony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker” this year alone.

“They so look forward to being in the ‘Nutcracker,” says Williams. “And I get excited that the children are from such diverse backgrounds, such different walks of life. And they all want to be a part of it. I feel it’s a force I’ve unleashed. Vicariously, I am reliving the time when I was a young person. Reliving that time through their enthusiasm.”

Urban Nutcracker official website

by Kay Bourne
(pictured: the Grinch and Max)

569 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64A cheerful STEFAN KARL manages to find the silver lining even in his native Iceland’s recent economic implode. Not the demeanor of a Grinch. But when Karl dons the green suit worn by the anti hero of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic, Karl snarls with the best of them.

“(Iceland’s financial woes) is a horrible situation; I feel very sorry for my people there,” says Karl, who notes that the arts are thriving in Iceland nonetheless, maybe even because the times are hard. “It’s a return to going to art museums where you didn’t have to buy the painting, you just looked at it.”

Reached by phone in Baltimore, where “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” is wrapping up at the elegant, recently refurbished 1914 Hippodrome Performing Arts Center and headed for Boston, Karl makes no bones about the current Icelandic debacle.

“It’s about greed!” pinpoints Karl. Certainly, Grinches can identify. Greed and jealousy are their trademark characteristics.

Inspired by the original Chuck Jones animated TV favorite (aired continually since 1966), “DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! The Musical” includes the songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” while adding a host of new tunes by Mel Marvin, composer, and Timothy Mason, book and lyrics.

Max the Dog, the Grinch’s faithful pooch, narrates as the bitter, mean, and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” plots to steal Christmas away from the holiday loving Whos. The musical makes its Boston debut, playing at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre for sixty-six performances, from NOVEMBER 26 through DECEMBER 28. A complete performance schedule is available on the Citi Center Performing Arts Center’s website or for more info you can call 617-482-9393.

The tour restages the critically acclaimed, box office record breaking Broadway production that has played for two consecutive years for limited holiday engagements in New York. Conceived and originally directed at San Diego’s Old Globe by its artistic director Jack O’Brien, a three-time Tony Award winner for direction of Broadway shows (“Hairspray” 2003, “Henry IV” 2004, and “The Coast of Uptopia” 2007), the tour production is directed by Matt August, who staged “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” for Broadway.

Karl, who had been signed by Nancy Carson’s Carson Adler Agency two year ago, was sent to audition for the role (played by Patrick Page on Broadway, and originated at the Old Globe by Guy Paul in 1998). The agency, whose clients are children for the most part, has in the past represented Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Britney Spears when they were teens, for instance. It was Karl’s first New York audition which he says was “kind of like walking into American Idol.” The audition process resulted in his debut on the American stage, which has “changed my life,” says Karl.

So the green suit became his. “I feel very green, all day,” exalts Karl.

He describes the costume as two layers, “the first has the little belly and little tail, the one that goes on top is green fur.” It takes about twenty minutes to suit up, then he devotes some 40 minutes to painting his face. “We wanted to go as far as we could with facial expressions,” he said explaining why he forgoes a mask. At 6’3″, he makes an imposing Grinch. “It looks great!” Karl says happily. The show’s make up designer is Angelina Avallone, whose specialty is monstrous characters – she designed the creepy tattoos for the serial killer in “Frozen,” and did make-up for such Broadway hits as “Sweeny Todd” and “Young Frankenstein.” The costumes are by Robert Morgan who heads the Old Globe‘s renowned costume and prop department (Morgan directed the theater department at Boston University from 1987 to 1992).

Official website of Citi Center Performing Arts Center

by Josiah Crowley (c) 2008
570 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64Director GUS (“Good Will Hunting,” “Drugstore Cowboy”) VAN SANT‘s MILK opens with a series of genuine, old footage from the 1950′s showing police arresting various people for “congregating” together in the privacy of bars operating for “their kind”. This footage pulls the viewer right into the film, as we see the real fear in these men’s faces as they realize once this footage has been made public that they will, in all likelihood, loose their careers, homes and families. These men are gay, closeted and scared: it’s the 1950′s and their fears are palpable: they had no legal rights.

Director OLIVER (Platoon, Wall Street) STONE‘s “W” opens with the young George W. Bush alone in an empty football stadium, as he mulls over his life aspirations and dreams. By the conclusion of W, the viewer is overcome with sadness as we mull over the challenges our nation faces over the next several years – many of these problems a direct result of decisions made by the man in the empty stadium. A man portrayed as way in over his head.

At the end of MILK, which traces one man’s journey from a life of hiding in the shadows in New York (where he worked in the insurance industry) to moving 3,000 miles away, to 1970′s San Francisco, rebelling against a society which tells him he’s unworthy of civil rights to becoming part of “the establishment” (voted into office) in order to change the laws for the betterment of “his kind”, the viewer is also left with a sense of loss. Harvey Milk was assassinated by one of his “own kind” – Dan White, a closeted homosexual who never got to the level of self-acceptance that gay rights activist Harvey Milk attained. Drinking heavily, White had resigned as San Francisco’s City Supervisor; changing his mind, he sought to be reinstated. When that was refused, White murdered Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, the latter the first openly gay elected man in America.

W is the first time a film has been made on a sitting President. Unlike Stone’s earlier films NIXON and JFK, this film from the fiercely Democratic director (and Vietnam veteran) does not have a sensationalistic tone. It’s actually quite a generous portrait of a man Stone presents as flawed, yes, but hardly the villain many see W as. The director lets you draw your own conclusions as he recreates recent history without imposing his own political views. This alone shows a great maturation in Stone as a filmmaker.

Both of these films present their subject as human and with tendencies toward personal excess: Bush with his youthful arrests, poor employment record and drinking and drugging (which lasts long after his youth); Milk as a man who tends toward promiscuity and is financially unstable and a bit of a dreamer. (Of course, when such dreams come true, we label those people great visionaries! )

Sean Penn‘s brauvura turn as Harvey Milk is only one of MILK‘s many highlights. It contains an element of (recent) history in our country which has never previously been shown in a big budget, major Hollywood film. It captures a time and place that would soon disappear, with the onset of AIDS a few years after Milk’s assassination. The costumes and set direction need to be plauded, as does the fine work from a large cast, including James (“Pineapple Express”) Franco as Milk’s lover and Emile (“Into the Wild”) Hirsch as street kid Cleve Jones, who created – in tribute to his friendship with Milk – the AIDS Quilt.

Josh Brolin – who plays the title role in W, as well as murderer Dan White in MILK – gives two of the year’s most impressive, if diverse, performances that show his great range. In W, Brolin is supported by a great cast, including standout work from James Cromwell (as W’s father), Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell and Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney.

Viewing these films a month apart, one couldn’t help thinking of where we were as a country thirty years ago in terms of civil rights – no one was expecting an African-American President in the 1970′s or even mentioned gay marriage. And it brings to mind several questions: what if AIDS had never happened? Would Harvey Milk have run for Governor of California? For President?

The assassination of Harvey Milk, a working class Jewish New Yorker who had the courage of his convictions, inspired many closeted gay Americans to come out and fight for their legal rights. And many of our nation’s ongoing problems are a direct result of the actions of a rich, privileged white man from Texas.

Each of these films is intelligent, accomplished and – a rare feat for mainstream Hollywood filmmaking – thought-provoking. And they remind us that this country was founded on the ideal of personal freedom. And how important that diversity continues for the future of our country.

Official Website of the movie MILK

by Josiah Crowly © 2008
571 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64At a running time of just under two hours, the latest James Bond film is tightly made and flies by quickly. A standout performance from DANIEL CRAIG (the best Bond since Sean Connery) helps. A more accomplished actor than predecessors Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, Craig injects a strong acting ability and command, in addition to the required charisma and appeal to the role. His Bond is brooding and sardonic, rather than all sunny charm and quips like the Bond of an earlier era. Craig’s Bond actually seems like he may be a real spy; he carries the weight of the world in his eyes, as though he’s seen some very bad things.

Director Marc Forster (“Monster’s Ball,” “The Kite Runner”) moves the action along nicely, so the viewer doesn’t have much time to think of how much sense the storyline makes. (Plot was never a priority in James Bond films – or any action movies). This plot has to do with vengeance. “QUANTUM OF SOLACE” opens minutes after Casino Royale (Craig’s debut in the series) ends and Bond is still missing the loss of his last girlfriend. This is a James Bond in mourning – at turns, overwhelmed, sad and very, very angry. Craig delivers a great performance.

At every turn, Bond sees a conspiracy. Who is actually working with him? Who is undermining him? As Bond’s paranoia grows – and he works, basically, alone, estranged from M (Judi Dench) and suspicious of CIA co-hort, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright – so good as Colin Powell in “W” – is only the second African-American actor to play this character; Bernie Hamilton played him in Connery’s last Bond film, “Never Say Never Again”), the tension mounts and speeds ahead to a gripping conclusion.

Director Forster brings a more serious mood to the Bond franchise, yes, but without ever being heavy-handed – not an easy accomplishment. “Casino Royale” was a good, if overlong, introduction to Daniel Craig’s Bond. This latest effort is a big step forward in the Bond series, one that needs to be seen.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE official website


On DECEMBER 2 there is free, advanced screening of the film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” TARAJI HENSON (“Hustle and Flow,” “Talk to Me”) will be present to answer questions during the Q & A.

If you would like to receive a pass to the screening, you must do two things: email lisa@coloroffilm.com AND rsvp to benjaminebutton_12.2boston@yahoo.com.

TCOF will have tickets for those who have replied, and who are at the theater between 6pm – 6:15pm. We can not hold tickets after that time.

This screening MAY be sold out and a pass and rsvp does not guarantee entry so you need to get there early.

Official Website of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

by Kay Bourne
(click on picture to go to the Gordon James website)

573 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64Popular trumpet and flugelhorn jazz man GORDON JAMES started out as a classical musician. “I’m a late starter when it comes to jazz,” said James reached by phone at his Middlesex, New Jersey home.

A graduate of the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, CT, James dropped out of music altogether in the years following graduation but then began playing with a pop music group. Blue Aquarius, which recorded with Stax Records, had a gospel feel but its players were also serious about jazz.

“I’d listened to jazz growing up, my dad was a Miles Davis fan” James commented, “but on the road with the group, I started associating with other players who were into improvising. By the time the group broke up, I was serious.”

Back in New Jersey, James went to clubs to hear all the jazz he could, eventually studying privately with Ted Curson, a trumpeter who’d played with Charles Mingus among others. Ultimately, James formed his own band and began recording.

Gordon James is a featured artist at the return of ORGANIX SOUL Boston. The show, Friday, NOVEMBER 28 at The Sheraton Braintree Hotel, across from the South Shore Shopping Mall, also stars Jesse Boykins, III and his band from Brooklyn, jazz/blues vocalist Fulani Haynes, the ZMP Band, comic Just Al, and poet Bridgit Brown. The live music showcase starts promptly at 8 pm – until 10pm. Then DJ Nelski spins records for dancing. As well, there’s art by Lucilda on display. Doors open at 7pm. For more info, go to the ORGANIX SOUL Boston website or call Nia at (617) 296-5976.

Trumpeter James has found true joy in improvising. “It’s the self expression,” he said, “and even more the connection with people in the audience. It’s like being in a church, a beautiful thing.”

ORGANIX SOUL Boston ticket info

249 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64Win one of five pairs of tickets to the first matinee performance of BLACK NATIVITY, on Saturday, DECEMBER 5, 3:30pm at The Tremont Temple, 88 Tremont Street. All ages shows, wheelchair accessible.

Just email robin@coloroffilm.com before DECEMBER 1. Winners will receive a confirmation email by Wednesday, December 3.

574 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #64The National Center for Afro-American Artists presents its 39th Annual BLACK NATIVITY at the Tremont Temple, 88 Tremont Street, Fridays 8pm, Saturdays 3:30 & 8pm and Sundays 3:30pm for three weeks, starting DECEMBER 5 – DECEMBER 21. A joyous account of the historical Nativity story, celebrated in scripture, verse, music and dance, based on the Gospel of St. Luke, combined with the poetry of Langston Hughes, this family performance touches the hearts of young and old. Tickets are $45, $36, $28 and obstructed view seats are $17.50. ASL interpretation shows are December 6 & 14 matinees, December 12 & 20 8pm. A limited amount of 50% off $45 tickets are available at in advance at The Mayor’ s Holiday Special website. For group rates, VIP tickets or more information call 617-585-6366, to purchase tickets in advance visit the Black Nativity website at www.BlackNativity.org.

JAMAICAWAY BOOKS & GIFTS celebrates its 10th Anniversary with author ERLINE BELTON on Sunday, NOVEMBER 30, 2pm and her book, A JOURNEY THAT MATTERS: Your Personal Living Legacy. A Journey That Matters offers understanding and lessons on the importance of each person’s living and passing legacy. Your living legacy encompasses all of who you are, your personality and all the passion, pain, joy, and sadness of your life combined with your mistakes, hopes and dreams. A Journey that Matters assists readers in becoming clear in their hearts and minds about what gives their lives meaning. With a clearer understanding you can move forward with greater courage to guide yourself by practicing a set of beliefs and values that define your destiny, fate and legacy. Also, Jamaicaway Books is beginning a new program to encourage young readers by helping to build their personal and family libraries. For more information, call Jamaicaway books at (617) 983-3204.

AFRICAN MUSIC and DANCE featuring Special Guest Artist NANI AGBELI with KINIWE, the Tufts African Music/Dance Ensemble, on DECEMBER 2, 8pm and DECEMBER 6, 1pm. Tufts University welcomes special guest artist Nani Agbeli for a semester residency. Son of the late Godwin Agbeli, Nani previously taught dance at the Dagbe Center in Ghana. Now based in the U.S., Nani carries on his father’s legacy of teaching and performing the African heritage. At Tufts, Nani will team-teach Kiniwe with Professor David Locke and work in the local community. Join Nani Agbeli and Kiniwe for two FREE performances as they perform ADJOGBO, in tribute to Godwin Agbeli (who was also Professor Locke’s teacher), as well as Gahu and Atsiagbekor. Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 8 PM in the Jackson Dance Lab and Saturday, December 6, 2008, 1 PM in the Distler Performance Hall. The Saturday performance will be presented especially for children and families and end with audience participation in a traditional circle dance! Both events are free and open to the public. No tickets required.

W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research presents The Alain LeRoy Locke Lectures featuring DAVID ADJAYE, Architect and Principal of Adjaye Associates (London, New York, Berlin). Tuesday, December 2, 4pm theme: New Public Typologies; Wednesday, December 3, 4pm theme: Domestic Architecture; Thursday, December 4. 4pm theme: Between Art and Architecture. All held in Harvard’s Thompson Room, Barker Center 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge. A Q&A and reception follows the lecture. For more information, please contact the Du Bois Institute at 617-495-8508.

ALICE’S ADVENTURES UNDERGROUND by Debra Wise opens DECEMBER 4 at the Central Square Theatre. The award winning adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice books features outrageous puppets, sets of hand painted silk, and a performance by an intergenerational company of actors.. For more info click here or phone 866-811-4111.

NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’s John D. O’Bryant AFRICAN AMERICAN INSTITUTE celebrates KWANZAA on Friday, DECEMBER 5, at 5pm in the Amilcar Cabral Center, 40 Leon Street, Boston. A celebration of family, culture and community. For more info contact the Institute at 617-373-3143.

GET ON THE CELEBRATION BUS – Boston to Washington, D.C.. Be a part of history, in Washington, DC for President Elect Barack Obama’s January 20, 2009 Inauguration. Bus departs Boston January 19 at 11pm, tickets only $149 per person, includes roundtrip luxury motor coach transporation and dinner. Reserve your seat today. Full payment due by December 7. For more info email russell_herbert2001@yahoo.com or call 617-543-0393.

De AMA BATTLE and THE ART OF BLACK DANCE & MUSIC in collaboration with the the Martin Luther King, Jr., After School Program and the Human Services Department of Cambridge, presents their 35th annual pre-Kwanzaa Celebration at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community School, 100 Putnam Avenue, Cambridge. There will be refreshments, vendors, entertainment, ceremony and a community dance circle to mark this auspicious occasion. This is celebration is free and open to the public. For more information call ABDM at 617-666-1859.

CALL FOR ART: Art work submissions sought for an exhibit showcasing PAINTINGS by BOSTON area AFRICAN AMERICAN PAINTERS in the “PAINT – BLACK on CANVAS” exhibit. Exhibition dates: Jan. 19 – Feb. 28, 2009. Deadline for submissions, December 25, 2008. For guidelines, contact Laura L. Montgomery, Director, Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery at 617-228-2093.

SAVE THE DATE: Roxbury Film Festival Comes to First Night on DECEMBER 31 at the Hynes Convention Center, Room 200, 7:30 -11pm. Some of the best films from RFF 08 will be screened. Admission: First Night Button

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