Black History Month exhibit at BRAHM

Black History Month at Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is celebrated with special exhibits in the Alexander Community Gallery.

BLOWING ROCK — During the next five weeks, BRAHM will celebrate Black History Month and explore the intersections between social justice and creative expression. The program series has been organized around the current exhibition, Small and Mighty Acts Altar for Black Lives. Link to exhibit:

Small and Mighty Acts serve as a platform to bolster the High Country of North Carolina and beyond toward a more peaceful, just and productive future. In the summer of 2020, they put that into practice by creating an altar for black lives on King Street in downtown Boone.

The killing of George Floyd in May of 2020 sparked a global outcry and a resurgence of interest in the Black Lives Matter movement. In response to the killings, Small and Mighty Acts constructed an Altar for Black Lives as a call to action and place for our community to come together, grieve, and co-create an equitable future. The Altar for Black Lives is a recognition of the power in ritual during socio-political turmoil, as social change is not only a matter of policy, but a matter of imagination and of the spirit.

BRAHM is hosting the Altar for Black Lives in the Alexander Community Gallery until March 27, and have photographed every piece of the altar and have created a web page for the exhibit featuring additional information and images of every piece on the altar. Many of the pieces that were made were done so anonymously. If anyone sees their work and would like to claim it, there is a form on the exhibit web page to do so.

Small and Mighty Acts director Cara Hagan said, “It is an honor to more fully realize an exhibition of the Altar for Black Lives following the death of George Floyd, and so many Black people across our country. The opening of this exhibition will allow the High Country to continue to co-create and to imagine a more peaceful, equitable future through community ritual. The creativity with which people have approached this project already has been amazing and speaks to the timbre of care present in the High Country. I can’t wait to see how this project grows as people visit the exhibition and interact with our planned programming.”

Thursday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m., is the premiere, “Songs of Freedom,” with Boone-based artist, Melissa Edd. This program will explore songs from the civil rights movement and tell you stories behind the lyrics and the people named in them. We hope you will join us for Writing on Justice, a two-part workshop on back to back Wednesdays, Feb. 17 and Feb. 24, at 6 p.m., inviting participants to engage in a creative writing practice around concepts and themes related to BLM. Pieces created in this workshop will be included in a community exhibition booklet for the Small and Mighty Acts, Altar for Black Lives exhibition (not mandatory for participating in the workshop). Participants are invited to join the workshop over one or both sessions to write and collectively reflect on themes related to Black Lives Matter. The workshop will be led by Small and Mighty Acts founder Cara Hagan. Link to the program:

From Feb. 21-28 is a virtual screening of the documentary, “Wilmington On Fire,” and a discussion with the film’s director, Christopher Everett. The film will be available for viewing through BRAHM’s website for one week, from Feb 21-28. On Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m., we will host the discussion. Link to the program:

On Mar. 4, is “Pivot Step: Black Choreographers and the Intersection of Dance Arts and Social Justice.” This event will feature a discussion between Tamara Williams, dance professor at UNC-Charlotte; Cara Hagan dance professor at Appalachian State University; and Dr. Julie B. Johnson, professor at Spelman College. Link to the program:

All of these events are free and open to the public. They are made possible by the hard work of Small and Mighty Acts, and financial support from the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Watauga Arts Council.

All of the programs will be recorded and posted to our YouTube page. Subscribe to the weekly e-news letter or following on social media @brmuseum.

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