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Celebrating Black History Month in NYC

Got Culture Feb 2012
Photo courtesy of James Denmark, One Room, One Book, artist proof.

February 1, 2012 - 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 compelling collection of work on display at The Arsenal Gallery in Central Park to the Black Cinema festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, there are enlightening programs for audiences of all ages.

Find more cultural programs by visiting the NYCulture Calendar at nyc.gov/nyculture.

The Black Power Mixtape
Bronx Museum of the Arts
February 3, 6pm

On the first Friday of every month, Bronx Museum offers free admission to a night of film, art, performance, music and more. This Friday features a screening of The Black Power Mixtape in honor of Black History Month. The Black Power Mixtape examines the evolution of the Black Power Movement from 1967 to 1975. The film combines music, startling 16mm footage and audio interviews from leading African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars. A Q&A session with co-producer Joslyn Barnes follows the screening and live performances top off the night.
Free. 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx. For more info, visit bronxmuseum.org.

Three Evenings: Curated by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Bebe Miller and Dean Moss
Danspace Project
February 16-18, 8pm
Platform curator Ishmael Houston-Jones has invited three influential choreographers/artists of his generation to curate three distinct evenings in direct response to his curatorial questioning of what it means to be a Black artist today.
Tickets: $9 children, $12 members, $18 adults. St. Mark’s Church, 131 East 10th Street, Manhattan. To learn more, visit danspaceproject.org.

New Voices in Black Cinema
BAM Rose Cinemas
February 17-20

BAMcinématek at BAM Rose Cinemas (Brooklyn Academy of Music) screens the festival New Voices in Black Cinema, the second annual festival presented by the Fort Greene-based ActNow Foundation. Films include new narrative features and documentaries alongside classics such as Wendell B. Harris, Jr.'s Chameleon Street.
Tickets: $7 members, $12 general. 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. For additional details, visit bam.org.

Art Now: Romare Bearden Experience
Staten Island Museum
February 20, 2pm-3:30pm
Jazz up your winter days with the colorful and rhythmic art of Romare Bearden. Young people can experiment with collage and learn about Bearden’s work while listening to jazz. (Walk-ins welcome. For children ages 8-13, parents may observe.)
Tickets: $6. 75 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island. To learn more, visit statenislandmuseum.org.

Faith, Courage & Purpose: Artists of the Diaspora
The Arsenal Gallery in Central Park
Now through February 28

In honor of Black History Month, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation’s Ebony Society presents Faith, Courage & Purpose: Artists of the Diaspora, an exhibition of 29 paintings by Betty Blayton, Stacey Brown, Leroy Campbell, James Denmark, Essud Fungcap, April Harrison and Charly Palmer. The exhibit is curated by Karen and Sharon Mackey, founders of Mackey Twins Fine Art.
Free. 5th Avenue at 64th Street, Third Floor, Manhattan. For more details, visit nyc.gov/parks/art.

Her Word as Witness: Women Writers of the African Diaspora
The Skylight Gallery
Now through March 31

This exhibit features 35 photographic portraits by Brooklyn-based photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, of some of today's most compelling writers, along with excerpts from their works. Those featured include award-winning Haitian novelist and essayist Edwidge Danticat; President Barack Obama's inaugural poet, Elizabeth Alexander; Grammy award recipient Esperanza Spalding; and 32 other literary and performance figures.
Free. Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, 1368 Fulton St Brooklyn.
For more information or to book visits, call 718-636-6949.


Louis Armstrong House Museum
Tuesday–Friday, 10am to 5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 12pm to 5pm
This modest house provides the ideal backdrop for learning about the life of Louis Armstrong, who transcended stark poverty to become an American icon and international jazz superstar. The 40-minute tour is like a personal session with Satchmo himself, as visitors walk through his fully preserved residence, view his original furnishings and listen to rare recordings of him playing trumpet or talking with friends.
Tickets: $10, $7 for seniors, students and seniors and free for children 4 and under. Groups with reservations receive a discount. 34-56 107th Avenue, Queens. To learn more, visit louisarmstronghouse.org.
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