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World-Acclaimed Black Architect to Visit San Antonio

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Designer of National Museum of African American History & Culture to speak Jan. 29

By Aissatou Sidime-Blanton

Among the designers of buildings today, one of the hottest is Sir David Adjaye. In just 20 years, this British-Ghanaian has successfully opened offices in London, New York and Accra with projects currently in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

In 2017, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Adjaye for services to architecture following the opening of the $540 million Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture that he had designed for the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Adjaye will discuss his approach to architecture – and his designs for the next museum to join the San Antonio skyline (The Linda Pace Foundation’s Ruby City) – during a free, public talk at 6 p.m. on Jan. 29 in Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium.

Adjaye has captivated global attention partly by blending African architectural elements, such as the coronas (think crowns) that cap the pillars outside the homes of Yoruba kings, with contemporary geometric designs. He is currently designing the new home of the Studio Museum in Harlem, a leader in showcasing contemporary art by African-Americans.

For deceased San Antonio artist and art patron Linda Pace, Adjaye combined her vision of a Ruby City that had come to her in a dream with distinctly San Antonio elements, according to Kelly O’Connor, head of Collections & Communications for Ruby City and the Linda Pace Foundation. Ruby City will mark Adjaye’s first building in Texas, and the first contemporary art center dedicated to the acquisition and presentation of postmodern and contemporary art in San Antonio.

“He was inspired by Linda’s dream and abstracted it,” O’Connor said. “You will notice there are many Ruby-inspired qualities. The cantilevered roofline is faceted like a gem. The cast concrete panels have crushed red glass aggregate that glistens in the sun.”

Adjaye also was influenced by the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage site – specifically, how the natural light enters the space through lanterns/ skylights, O’Connor added.

Ruby City will house Pace’s collection of more than 800 contemporary artworks that include pieces by such famous artists of African descent as Isaac Julien, Wangechi Mutu, Leonardo Drew, Glenn Ligon, Terry Adkins, Joyce Scott and Lorraine O’Grady.

The San Antonio museum is scheduled to open Oct. 13, 2019.

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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African American History Via Black Dolls

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The National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture – the only museum in the country whose mission is to preserve the history of African Americans through the art and craft of Black dolls – will spend 2020 telling the story of beauty, culture and empowerment in its newest exhibit VIBE: Visions In Black Elegance. The exhibit features the 40th Anniversary of Black Barbie and a tribute to The Ebony Fashion Fair.

The exhibit opens in May with the annual Mother’s Day Tea held at Lombardo’s in Randolph, MA, commemorating the creation of the first Black Barbie doll by Kitty Black Perkins, this year guest speaker.

“Yes, She Does Come In Black!” This May, the museum will pull out all the high fashion stops (with over 300 Barbie’s…) to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original Black Barbie doll. As we explore the creativity of her designer, Kitty Black Perkins, we’ll look at the significance of this groundbreaking doll. Why was a Black Barbie so important? How has she changed in the last four decades? And how has she changed the industry? This will truly be a series of exhibits not to be missed by any Barbie lover.

Continuing on the theme of elegance and style, The Museum will present “The Ebony Fashion Fair: A Retrospective.” Using our fashion dolls and a treasure trove of artifacts, we journey through sixty years of the famous and glamourous touring Ebony Fashion Fair and its innovative founder, Eunice Johnson. Highlights include life-size mannequins dressed in garments selected from the pages of Ebony magazine and recreated by local seamstresses, an affirmation wall where visitors can share their wisdom and “I SEE ME” – an immersive experience reminding us: representation matters!

So, immerse yourself this spring in empowerment and elegance. VIBE with us as we examine the lives of Kitty Black Perkins and Eunice W. Johnson, role models of Black women empowering themselves and others with visuals that showed the unmistakable truth: Black IS Beautiful!

About The Museum:
The National Black Doll Museum presented by the Doll E Daze Project Inc. has 5,000 dolls of color in their collection Located 35 miles south of Boston in Mansfield, MA. It is the first Black doll museum in New England, the second in the country, and the only doll museum in the world whose collection chronicles the history of African Americans through the eyes of a doll collector.

Learn more about the exhibit online at www.nbdmhc.org. It will be on display at the Museum, located at 288 N. Main Street in Mansfield, MA from May 12th – July 1st. A tea and reception is scheduled for Sunday May 10th from 11am to 4pm at Lombardo’s in Randolph, MA and will feature brief remarks by founder, Debra Britt, guest speaker Kitty Black Perkins, and others.

For more information, call (774) 284-4729 or visit the official web site at www.nbdmhc.org

For to purchase tickets, visit:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barbie-mothers-day-teatalktribute-tickets-83611778079?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

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Houston Contemporary Dance Company In San Antonio

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Houston Contemporary Dance Company is a fresh, brand-new arts organization whose mission is to ignite passion for contemporary dance by providing world-class professional repertory concert performances and community engagement activities that are accessible to all regardless of race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, or nationality. Led by founder and artistic director Marlana Doyle, and drawing from her over 17 years of curatorial experience, Houston Contemporary Dance Company, will present a vibrant and compelling inaugural season in 2020.

Houston Contemporary Dance Company aims to lead and innovate performing arts in Houston by drawing upon the director’s long tradition of inclusiveness and diversity within all facets of the organization.

Houston Contemporary sets itself apart by employing high caliber performing and choreographic artists from across the country. In setting high technical and artistic standards, Houston Contemporary will currently be the only contemporary repertory company to provide Houston audiences with opportunities to view works created by some of America’s most exciting dancemakers that speak to and are representative of the full spectrum of Houston’s diverse populace…all the while supporting talented Texas based artists as well. Houston Contemporary aims to be a vital component in not only keeping contemporary dance alive in Houston, but to firmly position Houston as a cultural center for dance by building broad participation and support for contemporary dance.

Houston Contemporary is coming to San Antonio’s Jo Long Theatre at the Carver Community Cultural Center on Friday, January 18, 2020 at 8PM. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com or the Carver Box Office (210) 207-2234.

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One Night Only

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The Kingdom Choir from London, United Kingdom will be here in San Antonio for one night and one night only. Don’t miss this award-winning choir Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University.

The secret was out when they performed at Prince Harry’s wedding and kicked off their American tour at the plaza on the TODAY show. This soulful group became globally recognized and we have them for ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Founded in 1994 by award-winning conductor Karen Gibson, the choir draws from various Christian traditions and is dedicated to creating a sound that reflects the community they share through their warm energy and enthusiastic performances. The Choir released their first full length album in November 2018.

The Kingdom Choir is best known for their show-stopping performance at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The group’s performance of Stand By Me, seen by a global audience of over two billion, instantly catapulted the Choir to worldwide fame.

This show is almost sold out. For more information visit https://www.artssa.org/kingdom-choir/.

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