NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain Museum of American Art is hosting an all-day festival called Arts on the Block on Saturday, October 1.
From 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the festival celebrates the living legacies of Black culture and creativity explored in the special exhibition 30 Americans.
The day’s activities are anchored by the three central themes of the exhibition: Self-Making and Identity; jewelry and materiality; and signs and wonders.
Coffee & Bites begins at 10:30am, where guests sip coffee, grab a bite and mingle.
The official events begin at 11 a.m. with a curatorial talk with Brittney Yancy and Nicole Stanton. It will be moderated by Nico Wheadon.
At noon there will be the Corey Pane art demonstration and children’s book reading and book signing with Sheona Motshabi. During the book reading, children can listen to local author Motshabi read her first children’s book, Backyard Bashment, a story that highlights celebration in Jamaican culture and the essence of West Indian culture, togetherness, self-love and sisterhood.
Fashion and art lovers can attend the breakout sessions at 13:00. During this time, three different artists will share their stories, insights and the history of black art and fashion. In the program Adornment with Siobhan Carter David, which examines the records of the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, this session will examine the ways in which the sartorial art of this exhibition relates to both assimilationist and cultural-nationalist tendencies in dress and style collides as they are presented in the African-American print culture of the post-civil rights era. For a motivational story and sketch, check out Fashion Design Drawing with Natacha and Anise Juste-Saint. Local fashion designers and owners of clothing line Saints by SJ will share their story of do-it-yourself entrepreneurship and guide participants in sketching unique fashion designs. You can also join the Art-Making with Kwadwo Adae program to create your own masterpiece.
Poetry lovers can visit Spoken Word with Versatile Poetiq at 2:00 p.m. A docent-led tour of the exhibit by 30 Americans is also available at this time.
There will be a breakout session at 2:30 p.m. During this time, three different artists will share their stories and insights and host poetry, art and healing workshops. There will be a poetry workshop with Antoinette Brim-Bell. If you would like to learn some spiritual healing techniques, take part in Sound Healing with Kelvin Young. Art lovers can join the Art-Making with Pierre Sylvain program to create your own masterpiece.
End the day with live music at 4pm Happy Hour
There will be a vendor market throughout the day which will include: Rastarant; Health Jodi Cup; Kishalee without a roof; sweet house bakes; bamn books; shades of We by Shay Skincare; Aspenne’s Library; and Kelvin Young.
Arts on the Block Festival is co-organized by Nico Wheadon, curator and founder of bldg fund.
Guests receive access to the event with museum admission. It will be free for college and university students and faculty. Visitors can pre-register for the day at nbmaa.org/events/arts-on-the-block-celebrating-black-culture-creativity
The New Britain Museum of American Art is located at 56 Lexington Street.