MOA plans Harlem Renaissance response

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Charlotte Patterson


Sunday, November 4, 2018

The era of the Harlem Renaissance, a period lasting from the 1920s to the mid-1930s, encouraged African-Americans to celebrate their heritage.

During Black History Month in February, the museum celebrated the Harlem Renaissance with exhibits inspired by the words of Langston Hughes, poetry by DuBois, Hughes, Hurston, as well as the art of Aaron Douglas. The observance featured artists, authors, musicians of the era, and even a dance step. Visitors learned about the literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity through the exhibit.

To continue the theme again this year, MOA will develop an exhibit entitled A Contemporary Response to the Harlem Renaissance, scheduled to open on Feb. 2, 2019. A Friends of the Museum of the Albemarle (FOMOA) members-only themed reception for the exhibit, An Evening at the Dark Tower will be held on Feb. 15.

The exhibit will feature panels explaining the history and relevance of the Harlem Renaissance. With assistance from the Albemarle Voices for Diverse Culture (AVDC), the exhibit will showcase objects from local lenders such as clothing and accessories of the time. Elizabeth City State University Archives is loaning some original documents from the period.

On Feb. 8, elementary students may participate in presentations by Autumpan-The Talking Drums and break-out sessions led by the AVDC. Students will learn about the Harlem Renaissance movement, its key figures, and its influence on literary, musical, visual, and performing arts of today. Additionally, middle to high school students may attend presentations especially geared to their age group on Feb. 15. Art created by all students during these sessions will be on display at the museum.

A public day will be held on Feb. 16. Highlights of the day will include a College Jeopardy-style game, a round-table discussion, and refreshments. The AVDC will lead make-and-take artistic crafts that everyone will enjoy. Photo opportunities will be available at all programs and events. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting exhibit. For more information, please call (252) 331-4032.

Charlotte Patterson is the Education Curator at Museum of the Albemarle.