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Columbus Marks Harlem Renaissance 100th Anniversary With Year-Long Celebration and Events

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Columbus Marks Harlem Renaissance 100th Anniversary With Year-Long Celebration and EventsJazz icon Louis Armstrong.
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Columbus arts organizations have teamed up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance with the commemoration, I Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100.

Columbus’ involvement in the celebration recognizes the impact the Harlem Renaissance had on cities across the country, including Columbus. The break of African American art, literature, music, poetry and social change inspired a movement of artists, creators and scholars that did not remain in Harlem.

The celebration runs through January 2019, starting with “Dream,” a theatrical experience recognizing the Civil Rights Era, taking place now through May 4 at Shadowbox Live. Also taking place through May 4, the Denison Museum in Granville will feature the work of renowned revolutionary artist and minister of culture for the Black Panther Party, Emory Douglas.

In May, singer Aloe Blac will host the film screening of “America’s Musical Journey,” which depicts the life of legendary musician and singer Louis Armstrong, at COSI.

In September, Wexner Center for the Arts will feature the work of Mickalene Thomas and her powerful portraits of women of color, as well as the short film series “Duke Ellington & Friends: Jazz Greats on Film.” The 1921 musical “Shuffle Along” by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake will be shown in collaboration with the Lincoln Theatre Association, while author and journalist Wil Haygood — best known as the author of “The Butler” — will host a night of local writer and poet performances called the Lyric Lounge.

Other events taking place this fall include the premiere of the exhibit “I, Too, Sing America” at the Columbus Museum of Art, featuring paintings, books, sheet music and photography by artists of the Harlem Renaissance, curated by Wil Haywood, as well as the Columbus Museum of Art’s Wednesdays @ 2 series “Mozart to Matisse: Music of the Harlem Renaissance,” a lecture and exhibition paired with chamber music in collaboration with the Columbus Symphony.

On November 17, the King Arts Complex will host a 1920s-style speakeasy performance in Nicholson Auditorium in collaboration with BalletMet, and later in November, Dance Theatre of Harlem will celebrate 50 years with a performance at Lincoln Theatre.

Many of the dates for these events and others are still being finalized. You can find more information about the Harlem Renaissance at 100 on the Columbus Underground event page.

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