Community Folk Art Center and Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company open doors to new facility in arts corridor
Community Folk Art Center and Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company open doors to new facility in arts corridorJanuary 31, 2006Jaime Winne Alvarez email@example.com
Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) and the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company (PRPAC) will celebrate the official opening of their new facility in Syracuse’s burgeoning arts corridor Feb. 4. Located at 805 East Genesee St., the new home will provide both Syracuse University and the local community with new opportunities to celebrate the arts and diverse cultures. CFAC and PRPAC are units of the Department of African American Studies in The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and play a central role in the department’s mission.
SU negotiated a 10-year lease for the new facility, which is about 12,000 gross square feet. It has been completely renovated to meet the needs of the programs and contains gallery space, classrooms, studios, a black box theater and administrative offices.
CFAC was founded in 1973 by the late SU professor Herbert Williams and a number of students and community artists as an extension of the African American studies course Art of the Black World. It is an arts education center, offering workshops, classes, exhibitions and lectures about the arts of various cultures and encouraging, supporting, exhibiting and promoting artists of color, facilitating their artistic and creative development.
CFAC emphasizes works by artists of the African diaspora, as well as works that celebrate and interpret Latin American, Native American and Southeast Asian artistry and culture. CFAC shows have included a biannual exhibition by indigenous populations and SU B.F.A./M.F.A. and faculty/alumni exhibitions.
“CFAC is a beacon of artistry, creativity and culture,” says Carol Charles, managing director. “It’s a place that illuminates arts and culture for all ages through exhibitions, hands-on workshops in performing and studio arts, special events and screenings of independent films by filmmakers of color.”
The Paul Robeson company–established under the leadership of executive artistic director William H. Rowland II, assistant professor of African American studies in A&S–is known for its programs in drama, dance and music. The company is committed to providing the local community with high-quality theater in the African American tradition and providing opportunities for artists from the minority community.
“The Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company is very pleased with the new facility and sees this as an expanded opportunity to bring our art to the Syracuse community,” Rowland says. “We’re excited about the rehearsal spaces that will be available to us, the new classes that will be conducted, and our increased ability to create new programs that we didn’t have the opportunity to present in the past.”
PRPAC offers multicultural experiences, provides opportunities for SU students and company members to participate in cross-generational artistic interaction, and gives various groups an opportunity to display their skills and talents in an atmosphere of mutual respect. PRPAC programs include the Youth Ensemble, Dance Ensemble, Adult Theatre, Musical Theatre and Choral Ensemble. In recent years, these groups have staged presentations including “The Wiz,” “Voices of the Past” and “What’s Going On: The Musical Genius of Marvin Gaye.” In addition, PRPAC won The Post-Standard Achievement Award and the Urban League’s Harriet Tubman Award “for significant performance in the struggle for equality.”
CFAC and PRPAC’s official opening and reception will take place Feb. 4, beginning at 5:45 p.m., and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact CFAC at 442-2230or http://www.communityfolkartcenter.org or PRPAC at 442-2727.