The CalArts Black Arts Collective Presents Black History Month 2018

The CalArts Black Arts Collective | Image: Courtesy of the CalArts Black Arts Collective

February is Black History Month, and The CalArts Black Arts Collective has plenty of activities in store to celebrate and commemorate. The organized series of events starts Thursday (Feb. 8) with a Black Wax Museum live performance exhibit taking place in F100 and F100a from 7:30-9 pm. Other highlights include a Family Potluck Dinner, a Black Panther group viewing at the Edwards Valencia 12 movie theater, a special Black Faculty Panel, a Speakeasy Open Mic & Live artist workshop and an on-campus basketball game and barbecue.

The Black Arts Collective's mission strives to carve out a cavernous, impactful space for black students to create, display, critique, workshop and produce innovative, relevant, artistic work. The collective serves as a refuge of unapologetic self-expression through the ethnically charged, African-diasporic lens. Its ultimate goal is to give black students the chance to build the confidence and experience they need in creating their own work and respecting and learning from the work of others, in order to embark on their post-academic journeys with power and purpose.

The schedule of events follows:

Black Wax Museum: A Live Performance Exhibit
Thursday, Feb. 8
7:30-9 pm
Rooms F100 and F100a

This is a museum-like, interactive theater piece where various Collective members will be frozen, costumed as their favorite, black, historical figures. As guests begin to walk through the space one-by-one the 'wax figures' will unfreeze and speak as/about their characters essentially "bringing them to life" right in front of the audience's eyes. There will be two performances over the course of the evening.

Family Potluck Dinner
Sunday, Feb. 11
5 pm
In Mom's Cafe in Chouinard Hall

This is an opportunity for all of our members to get together and celebrate black love and family through food and fun. The Black Arts Collective will be providing fried chicken, and the other students in attendance will each bring a dish of their choosing to share. This is a casual event that allows members, the executive board and the black community to fellowship with each other.

Black Panther Film Premiere
Thursday, Feb. 15
Shuttle Vans Available from CalArts to theater
Showtime: 7:30pm
At Edwards Valencia 12 Movie Theater

This is an opportunity for members of The Black Arts Collective to come together and experience an incredible, relevant, powerful piece of black art on premiere night. There will be vans shuttling back and forth from CalArts to the theater. However, there are a limited number of tickets available. They will be allotted by a lottery system; information will be released in the coming week. Students are also more than welcome to purchase tickets on their own and still ride in the shuttle vans or meet us at the theater to join the group viewing.

Special Black Faculty Panel
The panel will be scheduled for the week of Feb. 19-23.

This is an open discussion co-facilitated by Boz Garden, Head of Artist Management & Recruitment, and Alex Mitchell, Director, Editor-in-Chief, & Head of Operations of The Black Arts Collective. It is an opportunity for students, faculty and members of the administration to dive into imperative questions about the definition  of blackness and ethnically centered artistic expression in the context of the CalArts environment. The panel will explore the challenges of creating black art within a system that critiques largely from a white, Eurocentric lens, and dig into the throes and victories of existing and identifying as a black person within this specific creative space.

Speakeasy Open Mic & Live Artist Workshop
Thursday, Feb. 22
10:30 pm
In Langley Hall

Speakeasy is an old, favorite event of The Black Arts Collective here on campus. It's an opportunity for black artists, other artists who identify with the African Diaspora, and allies to bring their work and share it in a trustworthy, safe, loving, welcoming environment. Students wishing to perform in a booked time slot can email and submit short proposals with their name, metier, year level, a short description of their performance concept and any equipment they will need.

Basketball & Barbecue
Sunday, Feb. 25
Begins in the Early Afternoon
The CalArts Basketball Courts

In addition to a barbecue (with veggie options), there will be a three-on-three, co-ed tournament open to any and all students who want to play, as well as plenty of pick-up games throughout. All are welcome to attend, and any food, nonalcoholic beverages or utensils and paper goods contributions would be greatly appreciated.

For more information, contact The CalArts Black Arts Collective at

Oscar Burrows-Rangel

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