“Visual and Performing Arts students wouldn’t have a reason to be here if they couldn’t sing or hold an instrument or act onstage or spend time in the studio. The arts are a social activity, not something that lends itself…
Community Folk Art Center Offers Exhibition, Music, Film in Celebration of Black History Month
The Community Folk Art Center (CFAC), a unit of Syracuse University’s Department of African American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, is celebrating Black History Month with an array of cultural programming open to the Syracuse University and greater Syracuse communities.
The celebration kicked off with an R&B concert on Jan. 26 and accelerated on Feb. 3, with a large crowd attending the opening reception for “I, too, am America: A Song of Race and Language,” an exhibition of the impact of various visual languages and media on cultural conversations. The exhibition features the works of artists Jamaal Barber, Ann “Sole Sister” Johnson, Kleaver Cruz/The Black Joy Project and Spencer Stultz, a senior in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. All of the artists participated in a panel held on Feb. 4.
“This exhibition, curated by Jaime Ransome, is phenomenally complex and provocative. We were delighted to have large and diverse crowds at both the opening reception and the artist panel,” says Kal Alston, interim executive director of CFAC and professor in the School of Education and College of Arts and Sciences. “The artists demonstrated the textured connection in their work between visual and oral expression about the Black experience.”
The exhibition runs through March 25 at CFAC, 805 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Upcoming CFAC Black History Month events include:
Thursday, Feb. 16, at 5:30 p.m.—CFAC’s Journey through Music of the African Diaspora series will feature a performance by TANKSLEY (local singer-songwriter Justin Tanksley), featuring Billy Harrison and Tre Reid. The event is free and open to the public; donations will be accepted for future programming. Tanksley has performed at venues throughout Central New York. He is a former student of jazz great Ronnie Leigh and is now being mentored by Carlos Alomar, who was David Bowie’s guitarist, arranger and collaborator for decades.
Thursday, Feb. 23-Sunday, Feb. 26—CFAC will host its annual Caribbean Cinematic Film Festival. This event will highlight cultural contributions and address polarizing issues in the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora. This exploration will happen through film, dance, post-film discussion, spoken word and food. Visit communityfolkartcenter.org for the festival schedule and for more information.
Saturday, March 4—The concluding celebration of Black History Month at CFAC will be a dance party featuring rhythm and blues music of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The party will begin at 9 p.m. and is open to the public. Tickets—$10 in advance and $15 at the door—are available at CFAC and on the CFAC website.
In addition to the current and upcoming events, CFAC’s Creative Arts Academy has limited spots open for its tuition-free programs in visual arts, dance and drama for students in grades four through seven. Auditions are required for acceptance into the program. For more information on this or any CFAC programs, call 315.443.2230.