WAKANDA: A CASE STUDY FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  Black Panther, the record-breaking Marvel comic-themed movie has changed the way People of Color go to the movies. It’s that simple. The pride, the respect, and the dignity projected in every frame of this film and promoted by the film-making team has made it a game-changer. I’m not just talking about the economic perspective—although Black Panther’s global receipts have exceeded a mind-bending $500 million … Continue reading WAKANDA: A CASE STUDY FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

The Time for Repatriation and Homecomings

In the January 24, 2018, issue of The New Yorker Magazine, an article caught my eye. It was titled “The Troubling Origins of the Skeletons in a New York Museum.” The article, written by Daniel A. Gross, focused on efforts to repatriate from the American Museum of Natural History in New York century-old bones belonging to victims of a genocide in Namibia. The story of … Continue reading The Time for Repatriation and Homecomings

CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF AUNT CHEE-CHEE

Sometimes after I give lecture or conduct a workshop, people ask me, “What inspires you?” Today, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share with you that the foundation of who I am and the catalyst for my work actually began in 1919 with the arrival of a tour de force, whose given name was Alzora Rhea Goodrum Simmons. My sisters and I, along with all … Continue reading CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF AUNT CHEE-CHEE

National Theatre Conference Expands Efforts to Diversify Leadership

The National Theatre Conference (NTC) is a not-for-profit organization made up of distinguished members of the American Theatre Community. Established in 1925, its mission includes: Exploring the means to best serve the interests of the American Theatre, and to initiate, encourage, and support projects of value and significance with a view towards strengthening and broadening the influence of theatre in our country. Bringing the membership … Continue reading National Theatre Conference Expands Efforts to Diversify Leadership

Saving Youth Arts Programs

In August of last year, I wrote a blog about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Programs Awards, the nation’s highest award for after-school and in-school arts and humanities programs. The program was celebrating 20 years of providing funding and recognition to the nation’s best programs, primarily in underserved urban and rural communities. These programs provided youth with a broad array of opportunities—ranging from self-discovery … Continue reading Saving Youth Arts Programs

The Right to be Innovative: A Panel Discussion at APAP

I had the opportunity to moderate a very important panel last week at the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference in New York. The genesis of the panel was a troubling New York Times review published May 31, 2017, about a DanceAfrica performance. The theme of the program was “The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond.” The Times’ headlined its “bittersweet” review: “DanceAfrica … Continue reading The Right to be Innovative: A Panel Discussion at APAP

Celebrating the March on Washington Film Festival, An Interview with Isisara Bey

   Isisara Bey serves as Artistic Director of the March on Washington Film Festival (MOWFF). The annual, week-long festival, which is held in the nation’s capital, features Civil Rights-themed short, documentary and narrative films, first-person accounts, panels, performing arts and sponsors student filmmaker and journalist competitions. The MOWFF was established in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and … Continue reading Celebrating the March on Washington Film Festival, An Interview with Isisara Bey

Shaping Cultural Identity with the Najwa Dance Corps

  In 1977, my two sisters and I became founding members of Najwa Dance Corps (NDC) in Chicago. We were so excited to be a part of something new that carried forward for future generations African American culture through dance, engaging new audiences, as well as teaching dance on Chicago’s West Side. Najwa I and her dance partner, the late Julian Swain, in whose company … Continue reading Shaping Cultural Identity with the Najwa Dance Corps

What Are Your Goals for 2018?

So far, Congress has resisted calls to cut the federal funding for the humanities and arts. But this is no time for complacency. We can rest assured that this fight is far from over. That’s why I’m making plans now for what I intend to accomplish in 2018 so that my ongoing work to make the arts accessible to all will not become, like the … Continue reading What Are Your Goals for 2018?

Our Power for Peace: Happy Holidays from Donna Walker-Kuhne

   Thank you so much for reading, supporting, following and commenting on my Arts and Culture Connection blog. I have been encouraged and empowered by your feedback. Let’s continue our exchange in the New Year.  As my holiday gift to all of you, I am sharing an excerpt from the book Hope in a Dark Time–Reflections on Humanity’s Future. One of the best essays is … Continue reading Our Power for Peace: Happy Holidays from Donna Walker-Kuhne