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Cultural Institutions Celebrate Black Heritage


The Supremes take the stage at the Apollo Theater. Photo courtesy of The Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. Photo by Kwame Brathwaite.
February 4, 2011 - In honor of February as Black History Month, cultural organizations across the five boroughs are commemorating the contributions of Black Americans with special exhibitions and programming. From the Museum of the City of New York’s retrospective about Harlem’s internationally renowned Apollo Theater to the Staten Island Museum’s video exhibition “Portraits in Leadership,” featuring the voices and faces of Staten Island’s African American community, there are educational programs for audiences of all ages.

See below highlights of Black History Month events taking place this February. Find more cultural programs by visiting the NYCulture Calendar at nyc.gov/nyculture.

Bronx Museum of the Arts presents Free First Friday: Till the Break of Dawn
February 4, 2011, 6pm - 10pm
The Bronx Museum of the Arts invites visitors to First Friday: Till the Break of Dawn! Celebrating Black History Month, a free event featuring performances by DJ Ralph McDaniels, Emcee Greg Nice and guests artists, and a special visual presentation entitled “The History of Video Music Box.” The event will conclude with a Q & A with DJ Ralph McDaniels and a live video and audio mix with guests Hip Hop Pioneera MCs.
1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, bronxmuseum.org

The Brooklyn Museum Celebrates Black History Month
February 6, 2011, Target First Saturday
The Brooklyn Museum continues its tradition of presenting free exhibitions, performances, and educational programs devoted to artists of African descent with special programs on Target First Saturday. The day will include a screening of The Other Side of the Water (Jeremy Robins and Magali Damas, 2008, 61 min.), a documentary featuring a Haitian rara band that reinvents ancient music from the hills of Haiti on the streets of Brooklyn; a performance by Dja-rara, featured in The Other Side of the Water; and a talk on artwork by black artists in the installation Extended Family. The Museum’s collection of African art, “The Arts of Africa,” is on view in the first floor Gallery.
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, brooklynmuseum.org

Staten Island Museum presents Portraits in Leadership: African American Stories
February 12, 2011, 1pm - 4pm
The Staten Island Museum presents a video installation featuring the voices and faces of Staten Island’s African American community, curated by Jeanine Otis with photographs by Willie Chu. Guest historian Cynthia Copeland and folklorist Chris Mule will speak at the opening event on February 12. Suggested admission is $3 adults, students and seniors, $2 children 12 and under, and free members.
100 Richmond Terrace Building H, Staten Island, statenislandmuseum.org

Harlem Stage on Screen hosts a screening of Recoloration Proclamation
February 16, 2011, 7:30pm
Creating a range of responses from boycott to death threats, conceptual artist John Sims presents the making of his documentary film project Recoloration Proclamation. The film critiques the confederate flag, visual terrorism/pride, and southern heritage issues such as remixing and recoloring. With a short video introduction by Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky. Presented in partnership with Black Documentary Collective. Tickets $10.
The Gatehouse at Harlem Stage, 150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street, Manhattan, harlemstage.org

Bill Godwin's Ink Spots: A Concert of Hits that Span the Decades at Queens Library
February 19, 2011, 2pm
Celebrate Black History Month at Queens Library with Ink Spots, known for its close harmonies and hit recordings of "If I Didn't Care," "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" and "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie." Free admission (all visitors, all hours).
89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY, queenslibrary.org

Museum of the City of New York presents AIN’T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment
February 8 through May 1, 2011
Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment
traces the evolution of the Apollo—from its origins as a segregated burlesque hall to its starring role at the epicenter of African American entertainment and American popular culture. Suggested admission is $9 adults, $5 seniors, students, and children, and $20 families. Free admission Sundays from 10am-noon.
1220 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, mcny.org
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