Virginia Johnson Departs DTH

The artwork is attached: Credit: Courtesy of Dance Theatre of Harlem July 16, 2023—After a trailblazing career in the world of ballet spanning more than three decades, Virginia Johnson has departed the post of Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH). Virginia, along with the late Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook and five other dancers, were co-founders of DTH. Recognized as one of the … Continue reading Virginia Johnson Departs DTH

Shondaland Opens Doors in Hollywood

  July 9, 2023—I have always admired award-winning producer, writer and director Shonda Rhimes for her programming prowess; creative mastery of television, and the successful and exciting shows that come out of her studio, Shondaland, which feature the most diverse casts on television and streaming services. Ms. Rhimes, who is the CEO of the studio, has also been a big supporter of community projects. For … Continue reading Shondaland Opens Doors in Hollywood

The ‘Activist who Became an Artist’

Image Credit: screenshot July 2, 2023—Harlem’s own Harry Belafonte will be honored next month during HARLEM WEEK 2023 with a public tribute to the legendary activist and artist, who used his reputation, personal money and leveraged his relationships in the entertainment industry to support the fight for civil rights, social justice, and humanitarian causes. Mr. Belafonte died at his home on April 25, 2023, … Continue reading The ‘Activist who Became an Artist’

Inspiration for the Class of 2023

June 25, 2023—Following college commencement season, I always look forward to reading about the encouragement and wisdom shared by the wide array of speakers—celebrities, scholars, civic leaders and public officials. This week, I am passing along excerpts I intend to share with my students. I also hope these excerpts will inspire all the readers of Arts & Culture Connections. Oscar award-winning costume designer Ruth E. … Continue reading Inspiration for the Class of 2023


June 18, 2023—Music, dance, theater, film, as well as the visual arts, are invaluable platforms for sharing the significance of Juneteenth, which I think of as our nation’s true independence day. As we mark the third year of national celebrations, once again we have the opportunity to showcase how the arts and culture can be utilized to illuminate the values of racial equality and social … Continue reading Juneteenth

Arts & Culture Brim with PRIDE

June 10, 2023—Despite the national movement underway to restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ people, this year’s Pride Month celebrations have been more vibrant than ever! This is an important time to acknowledge and affirm the positive impact and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community of color, especially to our nation’s arts and culture. Not only am I inspired by their historic contributions, I also am encouraged … Continue reading Arts & Culture Brim with PRIDE

Reflecting with Joy & Gratitude

June 4, 2023—Every year I look forward to my June 5th birthday because I use it as an opportunity to reflect, with joy and gratitude, upon my just completed circle around the sun. This year, my focus is the following encouragement from my mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, about the power of a grateful heart. He wrote: “‘Thank you’ is a miraculous expression. It energizes us when … Continue reading Reflecting with Joy & Gratitude

Make Time to Experience Art

May 28, 2023—According to a recent news report, an arts practice is one of the best things we can do for both our physical and mental health! The study was conducted as part of the NeuroArts BluePrint Initiative, which was launched in 2019 to examine how the arts and aesthetic experiences measurably change the body, brain, and behavior. Bringing together representatives from science, the arts, … Continue reading Make Time to Experience Art

To Remember To Rise

May 21, 2023—This coming week—May 25, 2023—marks the third anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, which opened the most recent frontier of the movement for racial, social, and environmental justice throughout America. For those of us working in the arts and culture sectors, Mr. Floyd’s brutal murder became the catalyst for dialogues; the creation of new positions; the formation of new programs, the production … Continue reading To Remember To Rise

Celebrating Our First Creative Teachers

May 14, 2023—Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of this celebration of the women who nurtured, guided, supported, and encouraged us—mothers, grandmothers, aunties, neighbors and even teachers—I would like to make a bold declaration: There would be no arts without them! Our mothers were our first creative teachers: They showed us how to make delicious meals from cans or leftovers. They demonstrated how to dress well, … Continue reading Celebrating Our First Creative Teachers