With the Friday Five, we bring you our weekly choice of the top five events to check out in the near future. This month especially, we are highlighting works by Black artists in celebration of Black History Month. We hope this focus motivates viewers to join us in continuing to seek out voices, perspectives, and incredible art from historically marginalized communities. And as you enjoy, please consider supporting these artists and arts organizations. Every donation counts.
In addition to these weekly selections, we also keep a more comprehensive rolling list of ongoing and upcoming happenings at our ONLINE ARTS GUIDE.
The Flynn offers children ages 8-18 opportunities for short, daily creative breaks through February vacation week.
In A Riff on The Wizard of Oz, kids ages 8-12 enjoy creating their own story inspired by The Wizard of Oz. Students will develop their own character following the archetype of the traditional Oz characters (for example, “If I Only Had a….”). Campers will work together to write and direct an original play inspired by the classic tale and work with co-actors/co-scriptwriters to find a way to get Dorothy back to Kansas!
Teens join actor, director, and teaching artist Marisa Valent for the online Shakespeare Intensive. The group will work together for two hours a day on understanding Shakespeare’s worlds, learning how to interpret and perform text, and how acting for Shakespeare differs from other acting techniques. Find out more.
Online performances for friends and family will take place on Friday for both camps. Camps are pay what you can and are held on a secure Zoom platform. Register online and check out what's on tap for April vacation camps!
The February edition of Split/Screen, a partnership of the Vermont International Film Festival and Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, focuses on African American women ﬁlmmakers, highlighting seminal ﬁlms from the 1980s and current ﬁlms from the past two years. Kathleen Collins’s semi-autobiographical feature Losing Ground from 1982, considered by many to be revolutionary, is certainly quite brilliant, erudite, and funny. Another classic from the same year, the short ﬁlm Illusions by Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), also with a female protagonist, tackles the invisibility of African Americans in the Hollywood system. There are two ﬁlms, a feature and a short, by ﬁrst generation African Americans that focus on conﬂicting emotions: the thrill of the new and the fear of losing the old: Ekwa Msangi’s Farewell Amor and Natasha Ngaiza’s Blackout. There are also two ﬁlms that refer directly and indirectly to ideas of Black Lives Matter: Ngaiza’s A Mother and Ashley O’Shay’s documentary Unapologetic.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet’s performance of The Democracy! Suite aims to entertain, inspire, and uplift audiences with the full vigor, vision, and depth of America’s music. Led by trumpeter/composer Wynton Marsalis and featuring seven of jazz’s finest soloists, the concert’s unique repertoire celebrates jazz’s embodiment of freedom and democracy.
The evening features the premiere of The Democracy! Suite, a new Marsalis composition written during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis as a response to the political, social, and economic struggles facing our nation. The Democracy! Suite is a swinging and stimulating instrumental rumination on the issues that have recently dominated our lives as well as the beauty that could emerge from a collective effort to create a better future.
Plus, over vacation kids will want to tune in on Monday, February 22 at 2 pm EST for Jazz at Lincoln Center's: Jazz for Young People, an hour-long program celebrating the tunes and tales of one of music's most influential, ambitious, and downright decent figures—Dave Brubeck (also available on demand through February 24).
Join the Smithsonian online for vibrant performances, lectures, and family activities that celebrate our nation's rich cultural heritage and help us understand our shared history. Most events are free with online registration.
This piece, an awakening of the American consciousness, draws on Walt Whitman's intimate love poem to America, Song of Myself—written in 1855 when he was 36 years old. In March of 2020, More Or Less I Am was adapted from its live version to create a three-part digital piece commissioned and presented by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The piece continues with new installments commissioned by Dartmouth College and Colgate University. Featuring over 50 artists from around the world, More Or Less I Am embodies the Whitmanic voice of the "I" in our joyous diversity to show our nation the possibility of what it could be.
Parts will be released on weekly on Tuesdays at 8 pm EST; Part I: Journey, Seen and Unseen, The City on February 22; Part II: Nature and Democracy, Infinite Variety on March 2; and Part III: Gratitude, Contradictions on March 9. These are free events and open to all.