The American Museum of Natural History celebrates Black History Month on Saturday, February 23 with a day-long schedule of family-friendly music and theater performances of both traditional and modern hip-hop cultures, arts and crafts workshops and more. Attending anything or everything during this special Global Weekends event is FREE with museum admission, including a special musical collaboration with Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of multi-platinum hip-hop group Run-DMC, NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis, and Oscar-nominated youth ensemble IMPACT Repertory Theatre. There’s also a tribute to storytellers and griots, who give rich voice to the African-American experience. There are events hourly from 11 AM to 4 PM.
The day’s activities, performers, and artists include:
- 11 am to 4 pm in the Grand Gallery: Jerry Craft, creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award- winning comic strip, and contributor to Essence and Ebony magazines, demonstrates how to use simple shapes to create comic book characters and stories. Also, in celebration of opening their Manhattan Showcase School in Harlem this spring, Edible Schoolyard NYC will run seed sprouting workshops all day long and give away FREE seed packets.
- 12 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Internationally renowned master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston, performing on the traditional 21-stringed kora, breathes life and spirit into traditional and contemporary African and African-American oral and cultural traditions.
- 1 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Composers Concordance explore the influence of African-American and Native American music on classical and contemporary music, including a commissioned narrative poem by two-time National Slam Champion and HBO Def Poetry Jam performer Roger Bonair-Agard; exciting new music from Valerie Coleman, founder of the Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds; and works by Dan Cooper, Otto Luening, Milica Paranosic, and Gene Pritsker.
- 2 pm in Kaufmann Theater: Performance by choreographer and dancer Camille A. Brown celebrates the humor and perseverance of the black performer and examines stereotypical roles dominating current popular black culture. A Q&A and workshop follows.
- 4 pm in the Cullman Hall of the Universe: World premiere of “Rites of Passage,” a special hip-hop, jazz, and youth performance group collaboration by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Delfeayo Marsalis, and IMPACT Repertory Theatre. A Q&A will follow, moderated by Museum Assistant Director of Cultural Education Monique Scott.
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