UW-Parkside to host Art & Culture Expo in honor of Black History Month
SOMERS, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Parkside will commemorate Black History Month in February with the debut of the first annual Wisconsin Black Art & Culture Expo in partnership with Mahogany Gallery, 142 Washington Ave., Racine.
Black History Month recognizes and celebrates the historical and cultural contributions that African Americans have made to U.S. society. In collaboration with Wisconsin Black Art & Culture Expo, Parkside will feature a panel discussion on Feb. 3 moderated by artist and educator Mutope Johnson; guest speaker Calvin Brown, Jr., executive producer of “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” will share his experience in the entertainment industry on Feb. 8; a documentary film on the life of Dick Gregory on Feb. 9; and three Friday, noontime concerts that include a student-produced musical celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr on Feb. 25.
At Mahogany Gallery on Feb. 5, Scott Terry, the gallery’s owner, will introduce “Legacies & Resilience Art Exhibition,” which is the official art show for the Wisconsin Black Art & Culture Expo. In addition, on Feb. 11, Terry will host the Greg Murphy Trio, a jazz ensemble from New York City; and on Feb. 19, an evening of poetry, “Power to the People! A Tribute to Black Poetry.
Art, music, film, student-led activities, and the BSU’s Essence Ball will be among other highlights of the month that students, staff, faculty, and the community are invited to attend. Among entities involved in planning UWP’s Black History Month events are the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), Parkside’s Advancement team, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the UWP Library, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the Black Student Union (BSU).
Collaboration is the key to Parkside’s robust programming for Black History Month, said Lesley Walker, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Walker said she is especially thrilled to collaborate with the Wisconsin Black Art & Culture Expo.
“It has been a tremendous learning experience working with Scott Terry over these last few months. With his help, I am sure that UW-Parkside has been able to program its strongest Black History Month to date,” she said. “We’re especially looking forward to the Artist Panel, moderated by Mutope Johnson, that will explore building a career in the arts as a person of color.”
The Expo is “a unique and collaborative means to honor Black History Month in a more robust and significant way that connects communities, from Milwaukee, to Racine, to Kenosha and beyond,” said Terry.
“The collaborative partnerships between Black-owned businesses, Black creatives, universities, students, and the corporate community in chorus to celebrate Black contributions in the Arts is a bold affirmation that Black History and Black creatives are important, relevant, and integral to society and our ongoing narrative as a people and community.”
The concept for the Wisconsin Black Art & Culture Expo is the brainchild of Terry, who collaborated with Colette Bell, coordinator of Retention Programs for UW-Parkside’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Dean Walker to bring his idea to fruition.
“We thought students who were interested in the field (arts and culture), needed to know that it’s possible to be a financially stable and successful artist,” said Bell.
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national, and global communities. We are a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. The campus serves as a premier comprehensive public institution and a destination of choice, serving as a focal point of local, regional, and global progress.
University of Wisconsin-Parkside