THE TULANE BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL
History of the Tulane Black Arts Festival
Each year, the Tulane Black Student Union (the tBSU) hosts the Black Arts Festival on campus. In past years, the Festival has taken various forms ranging from a week-long lecture series to a singular day of events. This year we have a full line up with a key note with Issa Rae, a workshop with Be Steadwell, and so much more.
This year’s Black Arts Festival is themed “Clap Black Season: An Expression of Identity through Arts”, running from Friday February 27th to Sunday March 13th, 2016. Check out the the schedule below.
This year’s Black Arts Festival is scheduled to go on from Saturday February 27th to Sunday March 13th, 2016. The agenda is as follows:
BRITTNEY COOPER LECTURE
Hosted by Newcomb College Institute in partnership with the Tulane Black Arts Fest
The Black Student Union along with Newcomb College Institute will host a lecture featuring Dr. Brittney Cooper. As a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers, Dr. Cooper provides intellectual and relatable insight on the Black Lives Matters Movement. During her visit, Dr. Cooper will discuss her research on gender exclusivity in the black lives matters movement.
VOW OF SILENCE
Thursday 3/03, 7-9:30pm | Stibbs
SONGWRITING WORKSHOP WITH BE STEADWELL
Be Steadwell is a singer songwriter from Washington D.C. whose lyrics focus on love between women. Written and directed by Be, Vow of Silence is a short film that explores the story of a heartbroken woman who takes a vow of silence to win back her true love. Following the screening, Be will host a discussion on QWOC reclaiming their narrative and the ways in which QPOC can remain in the center of their own narratives.
Tuesday 3/8/2016 | 12-4pm & 7-8:30pm | Pocket Park
The Black Arts Festival in partnership
with the LBC will host a live arts demonstration and Q&A session with
Brandan “BMike” Odums. The piece, which will depict Tulane’s community, will be
installed in an area in the LBC for display. The Q&A session will include
an introduction of BMike and his work, followed by a session in which he
answers questions about his success as an artist, his activism in New Orleans,
and his view on resiliency in the city.
New Orlean Youth Open Mic
FEAT. SUNNI PATTERSON AND JIVE
Wednesday 3/9, 6:30-8pm | City Diner
The Black Arts Festival will host a special edition of the New Orleans Youth Open Mic. The New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) began in the spring of 2014 as a partnership between the Tulane Black Student Union and local poets and teaching artists. The monthly open mic features youth poets from various schools in the Greater New Orleans area and a feature performance by a selected poet. The Black Arts Festival edition of the New Orleans youth open mic will feature spoken word artists Mo Brown and Jive.
Friday 3/11, 2-5pm, Pocket Park and Pederson Lobby | Black Market
The Black Arts Festival will hold its first market place event in Pocket Park and Pederson Lobby. The market will have merchandise for sale including makeup, jewelry, clothing, skin care and more. Vendors and artists are not charged a vending fee and keep 100% of the profit from their sales. Black Student Unions from the local universities will be invited to table along with other multicultural organizations from across the city. The Black Arts Market will also feature a performance by Mardi Gras Indian leader Big Chief Demon Melancon and his Spy Boy.
VISUAL ARTS SHOWCASE
Sunday 3/13/2016 | 7-9pm
The Black Arts Festival will wrap up with our annual visual arts showcase at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. The Visual Arts showcase will showcase work (that is available for purchase) by numerous local visual artists including make-up, jewelry, clothing, painting, sculptures, hair art, sketches, photography and more. Artists keep 100% of sales of items at the Black Arts Festival and art not charged a vending fee.
We would like to thank the Ashe Center for partnering with us for a third consecutive year. Check out Ashe's website for more community events.
THE 2015 BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL
A Celebration of Black Arts, Culture & Entertainment
The 2015 Black Arts Festival took place from Sunday March 8th through Sunday March 15th, 2015. The festival began with a promotional event at Fridays at the Quad on March 6th featuring a performance by the New Breeds Brass Band as well as a live graffiti mural painting by renowned local artist Brandon BMike Odums of Prospect 3's "Exhibit Be". Other highlights of the 2015 festival included tBSU's collaboration with the Tulane Music Department to organize an all-day conference and concert about the historical and cultural significance of New Orleans' own gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. The following week was full of events including both a performing and visual arts showcase at the Ashe Cultural Center, and the festival concluded with a keynote lecture by legendary director Spike Lee.
THE 2015 BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL IN REVIEW
Check out the key events of the 2015 Black Arts Festival!
Fridays at the Quad Promotional Event
LBC Quad, Tulane University
Friday 3/6/2015, 4-6pm
The Black Arts Festival hosted a special edition of Fridays at the Quad as a promotional event for the festival which kicked off later that weekend. The event featured a performance by the New Breeds Brass Band, a live graffiti mural painting by acclaimed local artist Brandan BMike Odums of Prospect 3’s “Exhibit Be” & food from local restaurant Sass-a-Frass.
Mahalia's New Orleans
Dixon Hall, Tulane University
Saturday 3/7/2015, All day
The Black Arts Festival collaborated with the Tulane Music Department to bring a one-day conference and concert that brought leading researchers and musicians to Tulane to measure Mahalia’s impact on the gospel tradition. The conference included panels, one featuring scholarly presentations on the historical and cultural significance of Mahalia’s impact (with special attention to her roots in New Orleans) and the other featuring musicians influenced by Mahalia’s signature style. The day concluded with a concert featuring Irma Thomas, the “Soul Queen of New Orleans.
Qatar Ballroom, Tulane University
Sunday 3/8/2015, 7-9pm
The Black Arts Festival hosted a Gospel dinner on Sunday March 8th from 7-9pm in the Qatar Ballroom. The Gospel dinner acknowledged the unique contribution that gospel music has to black arts in America and in the city of New Orleans. The event featured a discussion piece by Joyce Jackson and 5 local gospel artists including Strother Davis, Roosevelt Malone Jr., Joshua Simmons “Jay Alexander”, Jo “Cool” Davis, and Pamela Givens who shared their talents and expounded on the significance of gospel music in their lives and in the larger sphere of black arts. A free dinner from New Orleans Connection was also provided to all attendees.
"Express Yourself" Student Art and Empowerment
Qatar Ballroom, Tulane University
Tuesday 3/10/2015, 8-9pm
"Finding Intersectionality Together" in collaboration with the Black Arts Festival hosted a night of art and discussion. Materials were provided to engage students in creating thought-provoking art that was published by the Notes From the Margin Zine. It was a night where discussion and participation intersected with simply thinking about different dimensions of our various identities within facets of power. This night of creative expression was more about how intersectionality impacts the way we see the world we live in and how we create the art that we do—from our unique experiences.
Youth Engagement Event
Der Rathskeller, Tulane University
Wednesday 3/11/2015, 6-8pm
The Black Arts Festival hosted a special edition of the New Orleans Youth Open Mic. The New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) began in the spring of 2014 as a partnership between the Tulane Black Student Union and local poets and teaching artists. The monthly open mic features youth poets from various schools in the Greater New Orleans area and a feature performance by a selected poet. The Black Arts Festival edition of the New Orleans youth open mic featured nationally noted local poets Sunni Patterson and National Poetry Slam champion Clint Smith who performed and spoke about their experiences as professional artists.
Black Trans Lives Matter
Stibbs Room, Tulane University
Thursday 3/12/2015, 5-6:30pm
In this dynamic interactive workshop, participants will watched and discussed examples drawing from the work of Black Trans Media and other examples analyzing the role black arts plays in our liberation. Black Trans Media shifts to reframe the value and worth of black trans peoples through media and community organizing. Participants left this workshop with critical language and relationships to new and emerging work, holding powerful conversations about racism and transphobia. Workshop participants left this space uplifted and educated to support their communities.
"I AM (HEAR)" Screening, Performance, and Q&A
Stibbs Room, Tulane University
Thursday 3/12/2015, 7-9pm
Director Olympia Perez and founder of Black Trans Media, Sasha Alexander hosted the screening and performance for Queering of the Black Arts. In her short new powerful film "I AM (HEAR)" director Olympia Perez pushes against the single story narrative black transwomen are constantly subjected to, that trans people are violent, deceitful, and should be silent. Follow the story of 2 black transwomen in NYC; Ares shares her lived experiences and future goals as Olympia, poet and organizer, draws us in with her journey. "I AM (HEAR)" opens up a powerful conversation about the work we still need to do within our communities and own hearts to fully support black trans people. Participants joined us for an open discussion about the work of black trans artists, honoring our lives while we're still here. This screening also included a panel discussion that featured music by Sasha Alexander, the founder of Black Trans Media and a spoken word
performance by Olympia Perez, Content Director of Black Trans Media and the Director of "I AM (HEAR)."
Performing Arts Showcase feat. Katey Red
Kendall Cram, Tulane University
Friday 3/13/2015, 8-10:30pm
The Black Arts Festival hosted our annual Performing Arts Showcase showcasing New Orleans’ best singers, spoken word artists, rappers, and musicians. Last year’s showcase featured legendary bounce artist Katey Red and the Yisrael Trio as well as a showcase which featured 14 local performing acts. Hosted by FreeQuency.
Visual Arts Showcase
Ashe Cultural Arts Center
Sunday 3/15/2015, 7-9pm
In 2015, the Black Arts Festival continued with our annual visual arts showcase at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. The Visual Arts showcase showcased work (that was available for purchase) by numerous local visual artists including make-up, jewelry, clothing, painting, sculptures, hair art, sketches, photography and more. Artists kept 100% of sales of items at the Black Arts Festival and were not charged a vending fee. The night also featured music by the 2014 Red Bull Street Queens the Original Pinettes Brass Band and a performance by Mardi Gras Indian leader Big Chief Demon Melancon and his Spy Boy.
Keynote Lecture: Spike Lee
McAlister Auditorium, Tulane University
Monday 3/15/2015, 8pm
The Black Arts Festival concluded on Monday March 16th with its annual keynote lecture featuring legendary artist Spike Lee. As a producer, director, writer and actor, Spike Lee creates controversial films that explore race relations, political issues and urban crime and violence.
THE 2014 BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL
Enlightenment, Engagement, Empowerment
An Exploration of Black Arts
The 2014 Black Arts Festival took place from Monday Feb. 17th to Sunday Feb. 23rd, 2014. The festival featured such highlights as an opening lecture with acclaimed actress Laverne Cox on Monday February 17th, a discussion with Big Freedia on the Intersection of Black Arts, Cultural Appropriation and Gender & Sexuality on Wednesday February 19th, an exploration of Arts & the Community on Thursday February 20th, a Performing Arts Showcase on the night of February 22nd featuring Sunni Patterson, and ended with a Visual Arts Showcase on the evening of the 23rd at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center.
THE 2014 BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL IN THE PRESS
Check out coverage of the 2014 Black Arts Festival in the local press!
Featured on FUSE TV's reality show
Season 2 Episode 3
Air Date: June 26th, 2014
Watch part of the discussion "The Intersection of Black Arts, Cultural Appropriation and Gender & Sexuality" between Big Freedia and Prof. Marc Perry on Big Freedia's reality show Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce season 2 episode 3!
"Tulane Black Student Union Presents 2014 Black Arts Festival February 17-23"
Date Published: February 17th, 2014
Enlightenment, empowerment and engagement are the ways by which guests at this year’s Tulane Black Arts Festival will explore Black arts this week in New Orleans. Produced by the Tulane Black Student Union, the annual Black History Month celebration takes place Monday, February 17 through Sunday, February 23 on Tulane University’s uptown college campus and at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center in Central City.
The 2014 Tulane Black Arts Festival brings a week’s worth of multi-media programming with some heavyweight keynote speakers, performers and workshop facilitators. The fest presents both local and national Black arts leaders at its daily events, as well as opportunities for hands-on engagement — one of the program’s central themes.
"Live Art, Live Music at Tulane Black Arts Festival this weekend"
Date Published: February 21st, 2014
A range of visual and musical artists will perform in free events today (Friday, Feb. 21), Saturday and Sunday as part of the Tulane Black Arts Festival.
At 1 p.m. Friday, artists Brand “BMike” Odums (known for his #ProjectBe installation) and Devin Reynolds will begin a live visual arts demonstration in the Lavin-Bernick Quard that will dovetail with Tulane’s weekly Fridays at the Quad. From 4 to 6 p.m., food will be available from local black-owned restaurants, and the finished artwork will be donated to a school.
"Big Freedia Talks Cultural Appropriation and Twerking at Tulane"
Date Published: February 18th, 2014
The Tulane Black Arts Festival continues with a critical discussion about cultural appropriation, followed by a twerking workshop, overseen by Queen Diva Big Freedia. Find more things to do in New Orleans on Wednesday (Feb. 19).
The Tulane Hullabaloo
"Student Chairs Black Arts Festival"
Date Published: February 14th, 2014
“The arts can engage people in learning and dialogue in ways that traditional efforts can’t,” says Katwiwa, who is double majoring in political economy and African and African Diaspora Studies. “You don’t need a formal education to understand it and it has a way of bridging those divides that exist among different groups of people.”