JCAL celebrates Black History Month
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Jan 31, 2017 | 8149 views | 0 0 comments | 575 575 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"The Genius of Geoffrey will showcase his contributions to dance and theater. Photo: Hirosuke Doi
"The Genius of Geoffrey will showcase his contributions to dance and theater. Photo: Hirosuke Doi
With the start of Black History Month, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) is celebrating with a diverse lineup of events and an exhibition honoring choreographer, designer, director and actor Geoffrey Holder.

The exhibition, “The Genius of Geoffrey Holder,” explores the contributions made by the Trinidad native. Specifically, the exhibition focuses on Holder’s career in dance and theater, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem, as well as his Tony Award-winning work as a director and costume designer for “The Wiz Jr.”

“The Genius of Geoffrey Holder” will run until May 30 at the JCAL-Robert Miller Gallery at 161-04 Jamaica Avenue. It is part of JCAL’s collaboration with Lincoln Center’s Boro-Linc program, which brings world-class family programming to all five boroughs.

On Saturday, February 4, lecturer Amba Chevannes will lead a reading, entitled “Drama from the Diaspora.” As a professor, screenwriter and playwright, Chevannes has taught across the Caribbean and has presented her work around Europe and North and South America.

“Her stories take us into the hidden spaces of our societies and invite us, through laughter and tears, to face our own humanity,” said the event’s organizers.

The reading is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 153-10 Jamaica Avenue.

To include different mediums of art during this month long celebration, the organization is incorporating theater, film and dance.

For one night only, The New York Black Arts Festival will perform their rendition of “The Wiz Jr.” An urban reimagining of L. Frank Baum's classic 1900 children's novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” there has been a Broadway musical, film and live-action television adaptation of “The Wiz” over the decades. This performance, held at JPAC on Saturday, February 11 at 4 p.m., is $15 for adults and $10 for JCAL members, seniors and students.

Executive producer, Taaqiy Grant, will debut his documentary film, “HAPI - the Role of Economics on the Development of Civilization,” at JPAC on Saturday, February 18 at 6 p.m. The documentary focuses on commerce and empire. Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion. Tickets are $25. For ticket information, contact hapifilm@gmail.com or call 347-709-4011.

“From systemic poverty, disenfranchisement, and the decline of entrepreneurship, to group economics, social networking and independent startup, ‘HAPI’ addresses the many complex problems that affect the African Diaspora as well as innovative solutions for successful competition in the global economy,” organizers said.

Visitors to JPAC can experience the United African Dance Troupe’s signature libation, drumming and dance performance, honoring the ancestors of the African Diaspora, on Saturday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. For ticket information, call 917- 519-3425.

Each event is open to the public.
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