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Musicians Come to Life in Photo Exhibit

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By Aissatou Sidime-Blanton

Kimberly Hopkins’s striking black and white photos, now on display at the AP Art Lab, are a wonderful homage to famous African-American photographers. Her first solo exhibition, “Street Formation,” will close with a reception from 6-8 pm on Sept. 27 at the gallery, located at 1906 S. Flores Street in San Antonio.

In fact, Hopkins readily admits her photos are inspired by the works of Brooklyn street photographer Andre D. Wagner and the late iconic photographic documentarian Gordon Parks.

Hopkins solo exhibition is a collection of live action-based photos of all the street musicians she has photographed during the last five years. Her subjects were captured in New Orleans, Minden, Tennessee, Austin, San Antonio and Chicago. The show title is a musical reference but also fits perfectly with AP Art Lab’s mission to exhibit artwork focused on women’s issues and social change.

“Musicians often have a role in social change. If you think of Otis Redding, The Temptations and others they were instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement  – they set the foundation for musicians across the world,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins, who is not a musician but always wanted to play piano, hopes viewers are inspired to see the value of anyone who takes the time to make music.  “There is talent all around us.”

Hopkins, a native Houstonian, has lived in San Antonio since 2011. She received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from University of Texas San Antonio.

Her passion for photography ignited when she picked up her first digital camera in architecture school. City streets, people and public transportation quickly became her visual language.

Today, the self-taught photographer also is a city planner for the City of San Antonio. Her photos reflect a cross-pollination between her “day job” and avocation because the photos also are informed by her interest in how everyday people use public spaces.

For more information on Hopkins’s work go to www.KHopPhotography.com or www.saethnicartsociety.org.

Aissatou Sidime-Blanton is a San Antonio-based curator and art collector. With her husband, Stewart Blanton, she underwrites the Abaraka Award, a biennial grant for African American women who teach, curate or create visual art. Learn more at SidimeBlantonFund.org.

 

 

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Quilt Exhibit Tells Story of Past Events

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Civil Rights leader Marcus Garvey once said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” The African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio is hoping to provide some of that history through their detailed quilt exhibit titled, “Telling Our Story: African American Influences on San Antonio’s History” at the Carver Community Cultural Center.

The exhibition, which is on display until Nov. 9, depicts significant time periods and people who have helped shape San Antonio’s history. It showcases events and people as far back as the 1800’s.

Racquel Gilford-Stepter of the African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio or AAQCSA, said a year ago, a small group of quilters formed with the intent to create narrative quilts in an effort to archive, record and tell the history of San Antonio’s black community. She added after months of research and visiting UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, UTSA archives and having stories shared with them from community elders, they were able to create 20-plus quilts on display for this exhibit.
“We still have so many more moments and stories to create and hope to share a snippet of what we have created so far,” Gilford-Stepter added.

All of the quilts are original designs based on each quilter’s research. Each quilter used a variety of mixed media techniques to create and embellish their quilts.

Bring your family and friends to experience this one-of-a-kind exhibit. The admission is free at the Carver, located at 226 N. Hackberry Street. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 8am – 4pm and two hours prior to each Carver performance.

The AAQCSA was founded in August 2017 by four quilters with a primary goal of fostering a quilting community, sharing the heritage of quilting and promoting the traditions of African-American quilting.

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Details of making “The Best Man.”

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When “The Best Man” hit theaters, it took over the box office with its unforgettable characters, a dream cast and a hot soundtrack.  On Sunday, October 7 at 9/8C, critically-acclaimed biographical series UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD sits down with director Malcolm D. Lee, along with members of the cast, to discuss the behind the scenes details of making “The Best Man.”

“The Best Man” was the directorial debut of Malcolm D. Lee, younger cousin of famed filmmaker Spike Lee, and became the #1 film opening weekend in October 1999. The film featured an African American ensemble cast with a universal story that could reach mainstream audiences. During a time when many Black films were focused on the reality of street life, the film explored themes of love, relationships, commitment and marriage. With popular actors Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Terrence Howard and Regina Hall, the movie became one of the most beloved films of its time and helped pave the way for more films featuring African American lead actors that showcased love and relationships.  Malcolm battled with the studio over creative choices while in production, and despite its universal storyline, it was marketed as a “black film” that ultimately failed to have the mass appeal he sought.

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From warm-up act to entertainment mogul, Nick Cannon

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From warm-up act to entertainment mogul, Nick Cannon has become an undeniable force within the industry. On Sunday,October 7 at 10/9C, a premiere episode of TV One’s hit auto-biographical series UNCENSORED will feature countless insights from the writer, actor, host and entrepreneur.

Raised on two coasts, Nick Cannon grew up balancing the gangs of San Diego with his father’s ministry in North Carolina. He recognized his call to entertainment at an early age and with the help of his grandfather and father, was able to escape the lure of the streets. While in high-school, Nick Cannon landed a gig as the warm up act for Nickelodeon’s “All That” where he would eventually become a writer and the youngest paid writer in Hollywood’s history. Mentored by Will Smith, he learned the ropes of the music industry while carrying crates for Biz Markie and Jazzy Jeff. Nick Cannon also learned the business aspect of music from his own missteps as an artist while launching and running a record label. He eventually expanded his brand with ventures in writing, producing and hosting for some of the biggest platforms in the industry, including his popular “Wild ‘n Out” show on MTV. Today, he works behind the scenes creating opportunities for comedians and entertainers.

UNCENSORED explores the lives of your favorite personalities as they reveal secrets to their success, obstacles they’ve faced, and how they manage this new world of social media that has helped, but sometimes haunted their careers. The premiere episodes give unprecedented access to stars of film, television, music, and pop culture, including R&B singer K. Michelle, actress Tichina Arnold and actor/comedian Lil Rel Howery as they personally reveal their own stories, in their own words.

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For more information on UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD and UNCENSORED, visit TV One’s Youtube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on www.tvone.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook(@tvonetv) Be sure to follow UNSUNG on Facebook using the hashtag #UNSUNGHOLLYWOOD and  UNCENSORED on Facebook and Instagram (@Uncensored TVOne) using the hashtag #UNCENSORED.

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