Dr. Khalil Muhammad and the staff of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture are deeply saddened by the passing of William Miles, filmmaker and producer. A Harlem native, Miles will be best remembered for documentaries such as Men of Bronze (1977), I Remember Harlem (1981), and The Different Drummer: Blacks in the Military (1983). The Schomburg staff remembers William Miles as a dedicated researcher, supporter, and exhibition collaborator.
This photo of Miles is from our Photographs and Prints Division.
The Finding Aid: Black Women at the Intersection of Art and Archiving is an interactive, multi-media dialogue that explores the intersection of experimental art practices and community-based archiving.
The event’s organization is based on the idea of a finding aid. A finding aid is a document used in archives for accessibility and discovery. We will transform a finding aid from an archival inventory/guide into an artistic archival experience.
Our goal for this event is that people leave knowing what an archive and archivist is or can be, and that people feel empowered to begin their own archival/artistic practice or feel moved to engage with existing archives.Schomburg Center for Research in Black CultureLangston Hughes Auditorium***
Joyce-LeeAnn is a writer, archivist and performance artist from Denver, Colorado based in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BA in Writing and Literature from Naropa University via Hampton University. She received a MILS with an Archives Certificate from Pratt Institute. She works as a professional project archivist. Joyce-LeeAnn’s writing explores the poetics of archival processing and investigates ways to tell stories through preserved documents. Subjects covered in her prose | poetry include: grief, healing processes, beautiful moments, writings on restroom walls and a fragment of black Denver history. Her experimental literary performances usually include a makeshift typewriter-drum-kit.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b. 1985) is a photo-based artist, writer, and educator from East Palo Alto, CA based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a Gallery/Studio Instructor at the Brooklyn Museum as well as a public school teacher working with court involved youth in East New York. Kameelah’s work enlists archival as well as archeological traditions to explore collective memory and her family narratives through found images from eBay and estate sells, material objects, and original photography. An object-based body of work, she interrogates the trinity of spatial trauma within Black communities — homelessness, incarceration, and forced migration and how this influences both collective memory and the way we reconstruct narratives from material fragments. Currently, she is an Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Book Arts. In 2012, Kameelah was an Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. She will have her first solo exhibit at Real Art Ways in July 2013 tentatively entitled The Imagined Archive. A former Fulbright Scholar to South Africa, Kameelah received her Master of Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Policy and Africana Studies from Pomona College.
Marilyn Nance is an American visual artist known for her images of 20th century African American life—spirituality, music, art, and African retentions, She grew up through many movements—The Civil Rights Movement, Black Power, Black Arts, Anti War, Students Rights, the Women’s Movement, and the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
A two-time finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography, her photographs can be found in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and in the Library of Congress.
Image © Albert Chong
Arianne Edmonds is a Los Angeles native, storyteller and archivist. Her historical collection spans from 1886-1950 and explores the uniqueness of early black Los Angeles, through the lens of genealogy. She received her Bachelors of Science in Communications, from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and started her career in educational media at Sesame Workshop. She currently works with the Taproot Foundation managing consultant relations and community partnerships.
Ladi’Sasha Jones is a is a collector and witness worker of oral history narratives with a special interest in documenting Black women’s stories and Black American family life. She approaches her documentation practice by working from the intersections of cultural equity and collective community memory.
Currently, Ladi’Sasha is working on the curation of a public forum to share her collection of oral history records via a digital sound art gallery — coming Summer 2013. Having earned her B.A. in African American Studies from Temple University in 2010 and a M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 2012, she recently completed a Certificate in Oral History from Baylor University in April of 2013. She aims to move towards freelancing and sharing her documenting services with community and cultural arts organizations along with individual artists.
Shawn(ta) Smith is a lesbian separatist, writer, archivist and reference librarian. Her essays blend storytelling with documentation and archiving. Her work will appear in “Black Gay Genius Interview with Lisa C. Moore” in Black Gay Genius: Joseph Beam and In the Life (forthcoming). She is currently editing a new anthology Her Saturn Returns: Queer Women of Color Life Transitions, a compilation of narratives of queer women and color in their Saturn. Shawn is a collective member of the Lesbian Herstory Archives and the WOW Cafe Theater where she co-produces Rivers of Honey, a monthly Cabaret highlighting the art of women of color. Shawn is pursuing her MFA in Fiction at Queens College while working as a reference & instruction librarian at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the former Archive Coordinator for StoryCorps.
// hersaturnreturns.com // riversofhoney.com
Photo © Arianne Benford
Sonia Louise Davis (b. 1988, New York City) is an artist and photographer. Using a large format view camera, her work mines the public and private archive, exploring collective memory and family history through site-specific and community-based projects. Sonia is currently participating in the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. An honors graduate of Wesleyan University, she holds a BA in African American Studies, with a concentration in Music and Visual Art.
Born in Las Vegas, Salome Asega is an Ethiopian visual artist and independent curator working in Brooklyn. She received her BA in Transnational Visual Art and Social Practice from the Gallatin School at NYU and is currently an MFA candidate in the Design and Technology program at Parsons The New School for Design. She is also a founding member of the Sistah Friends Project.
The New York Public Library is facing a $47 million city budget cut that would force cutbacks to key free services that the public relies on, such as programs, classes, library hours, and more. We need your help to stop these cuts! Go to nypl.org/speakout to sign a letter and tell the City that you and your communities need your library (it only takes a few minutes, and you don’t need to live in NYC)! Spread the word, support NYPL, keep libraries strong, and thank you!
Photo: Working still from Billy & Aaron
Image Maker: Rodney Evans, Part 2
We continue our conversation with director/writer Rodney Evans who will be at the Schomburg Center to showcase his short films as well as clips from his feature-length films including the forthcoming, The Happy Sad.
What motivates you to work in a visual medium like film?
I’ve always been interested in the ways that stories and emotions can be conveyed through a visual medium and how subtext gets communicated through movements, looks and gestures. At the same time I am fascinated by memory, dreams and the subjective nature of history.
Which stories get preserved & passed on, and which ones slip through the cracks?
I was always aware of the lack of film and television representation that reflected any aspect of my experience. I wanted to be an active agent in changing that situation as opposed to bemoaning the state of the things from the sidelines. Since I have also dabbled in the many different art forms (dance, music, fiction writing, acting, photography) film was always a way to combine all of these disparate interests within one medium.
Any films you’d recommend that are out now?
Funny enough, the one that I would recommend out now would be Portrait of Jason directed by Shirley Clarke in 1967. She is one of my favorite filmmakers and her two films Portrait of Jason (1967) and The Cool World (1963) are ones that I go back to over and over again. All of her works has been meticulously restored by Milestone Films and Portrait of Jason is currently playing at The IFC Center in New York.
I discovered her films on a dusty shelf at Kim’s Video in the early 90’s and found both of these films to be deeply affecting and inspiring. Jason is one of the first film representations of an out, black, gay man and is the sole focus of the film. He is a born storyteller and hysterically funny yet also kind of tragic in a way that I think we can all relate to. He is The Happy Sad in many ways…
The Ordinary People film series concludes with Director/Writer Rodney Evans who will showcase two of his earlier short films, “Two Encounters” (1999) and “Close to Home” (1998), a clip from “Brother to Brother” (2004), a recent short film, “Billy and Aaron” (2010) and an excerpt from his upcoming feature-length film, “The Happy Sad” (2013).
After the screening, there will be a Q&A with Evans. Free and open to the public.
Don’t miss two awesome concerts with leading Tunisian singers Ghalia Benali and Emel Mathlouthi, part of French Institute Alliance Française Festival World Nomads Tunisia! Enjoy Ghalia’s soulful melodic songs 5/15 and Emel’s powerful fiery music on 5/22. Get the two ticket package and save!
Details Ghalia: http://bit.ly/11WFsce
Details Emel: http://bit.ly/ZXmZ0J
Image Maker: Rodney Evans, Part 1
I say celebrate. We are so very fortunate to be living in a time where there are so many black queer filmmakers creating probing documentaries, entertaining short films and absorbing feature-length works.
Black queer films are available through distribution companies such as California Newsreel and Third World Films and on Netflix.
We were extremely grateful to offer a forum for their unique and inspiring voices at the Schomburg.
On Tuesday May 7th at 6:30 pm, director/writer Rodney Evans will be at the Schomburg to showcase some of his short films and clips from his features, including the forthcoming, The Happy Sad.
Synopsis: The Happy Sad follows two couples (one black, gay couple and one white, straight yet bi-curious) as they navigate open relationships and sexual identity.
Mr. Evans shares insights about his new film: The Happy Sad
The film really evolved out of my friendship with the playwright Ken Urban. We met in the summer of 2008 when we both had artist residencies at Macdowell. Ken invited me to a production of the stage version of The Happy Sad at the Summer Plays Festival at The Public Theater in 2009.
I was really taken with the characters and thought about how these issues of trust, monogamy, fidelity and experimentation in the age of internet hookups were playing out in my own life and within my immediate circle of friends. They were issues that felt so common but rarely represented with the kind of honesty, empathy and humor that you see in The Happy Sad.
Ken and I began discussing how it could work as a film and he was really open to transforming the piece so that it worked as a film. He did the adaptation but I was very closely involved and gave notes and feedback on each successive draft.
I was also coming off of a great experience participating in The Binger Film Lab’s Directing Programme in Amsterdam where I was able to make a ten-minute short film, Billy and Aaron, in eight hours with a skeleton crew of three people. The film premiered at Tribeca in 2010 and I was really galvanized by the experience of making it. I wanted to utilize a similar production model for a low budget feature where the focus would be on the writing and the performances. At the same time I wasn’t interested in getting caught up in casting “name” actors and chasing financing for years.
So we decided to do a small crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter in May 2011 and if it was successful we would move immediately into casting and then into production. Lucky for us this plan worked and we shot the film in the summer of 2011 in a very hectic, jam-packed 16 days with a crew largely comprised of my amazing students from Temple University.
The Ordinary People film series concludes with Director/Writer Rodney Evans who will showcase two of his earlier short films, “Two Encounters” (1999) and “Close to Home“(1998), a clip from “Brother to Brother” (2004), a recent short film, “Billy and Aaron” (2010) and an excerpt from his upcoming feature-length film, “The Happy Sad” (2013).
After the screening, there will be a Q&A with Evans.
Free and open to the public.
Empress Zewditu of Ethiopia was born on April 29, 1876 as Askala Maryam in the city of Harrar in Enjersa Goro Province, Ethiopia. Zewditu was crowned the queen of kings (Empress) on September 27, 1916 and her cousin, Tafari Mekonnen (future emperor Haile Selassie), was appointed her prime minister.
Tickets are still available for the Tongues of Fire Choir concert! This is presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a city-wide retrospective that pays tribute to the life, work and legacy of artist, poet and educator Sekou Sundiata. Join us at the ApolloTheater on April 27 at 8 p.m. for this lyrical journey as each poet explores the idea of “What’s in a name?”
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/443035659111629/
For ticket info visit: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/00004A449B1F7B81?brand=apollo
Slave Deeds -
“Property.” That’s how men, women and children were recorded in slaveholders’ deeds. These documents provide invaluable information on the sales that provoked untold miseries and family separations, but can also reveal family ties. Now available online is the rich Register of Deeds of North Carolina’s Buncombe County. The records, from 1776 to 1865, are searchable by page and book number and list the sellers and the buyers by name. As we continue to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of slavery’s abolition, it is important to never forget the past.
Join Symphony Space’s as it revsits the classic novel: The Street, by Ann Petry, as part of its Thalia Book Club series
Sapphire (Push), Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts (Harlem is Nowhere), and actress Sonia Manzano (The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano) and other writers explore the gritty, emotional 1946 classic set in Harlem. Actress Roslyn Ruff (The Piano Lesson; The Help) will read an excerpt.
Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
New York, NY 10025
Tickets: $25; Member $21; 30 & Under $15
SPECIAL OFFER! Film pricing for Schomburg Society members: $5 with code: Street. Call the Symphony Space box office at 212-864-5400 or click here and use the offer code: Street. If you are not a Schomburg Society Member, please join to take advantage of this special price.
Harlem Resonance Spring Festival
April 2 - May 11
Symphony Space’s 2013 Spring Festival celebrates the Harlem Renaissance and its continuing influence. Rooted in history, grounded in culture, and built in partnership with innovative artists and peer institutions, the third annual multi-disciplinary spring festival presents a panoply of diverse performances and screenings.