The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts will host a special virtual panel conversation featuring trailblazing Black Minnesota artists discussing justice, peace and humanity. The free virtual panel, entitled “For Such a Time as This: Visionaries Who Matter CENTERSTAGE,” will be filmed live at the Ordway Concert Hall and premiere on the Ordway’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and website on May 23.
“During these turbulent times and as we approach the one-year remembrance of George Floyd’s murder, it is critical that we elevate hope and healing,” said Robin Hickman-Winfield, director of the Taking Our Place Centerstage program at the Ordway and CEO and executive producer of SoulTouch Productions. “This virtual conversation is an opportunity for us to come together, put Black voices centerstage, and lift up the power of the arts and its profound contributions to our community and the world.”
The following artists will be featured:
- Ta-coumba Aiken, visual artist *
- Lou Bellamy, founder and artistic director emeritus of Penumbra Theatre Company
- James “Cornbread” Harris, singer and pianist
- Gary Hines, music director and producer of the three-time Grammy Award-winning “Sounds of Blackness” *
- Seitu Jones, multi-disciplinary public artist and co-founder of Frogtown Farm *
- j. otis powell, poet, playwright and performer
- T. Mychael Rambo, actor and educator *
- Rev. Carl Walker, co-founder of Walker West Music Academy *
- Grant West, co-founder of Walker West Music Academy *
*Denotes artists who will participate in the livestreamed panel conversation.
This event is a follow up to a Sally Awards special video presentation released last December that featured Lou Bellamy, Gary Hines and Seitu Jones. You can view the video on the Ordway’s website and on its YouTube page. The Sally Awards recognizes and celebrates the contributions and accomplishments of artists, educators, volunteers, philanthropists and leaders who strengthen and enrich our state with their commitment to the arts.
Taking Our Place Centerstage is the Ordway Center for the Performing Art’s ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. Led by director Robin Hickman-Winfield, the program enables the Ordway to partner with members of African and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities on creative programming, education and entertainment for all.
The Ordway is the arts epicenter of St. Paul, Minnesota, and one of the leading nonprofit performing arts centers in the country. Founded on the belief that performing arts should be wide-ranging and accessible to all, the Ordway is home to a variety of performances that encompass the finest in Broadway musicals, concerts, dance and vocal artists. The Ordway serves thousands of children each year through its education programs and presents the annual Flint Hills Family Festival. Known as the nicest, most welcoming place to catch a show in Minnesota, the Ordway includes a magnificent 1,900-seat Music Theater, a state-of-the-art 1,100-seat Concert Hall and spacious lobbies. The Ordway is a proud member of the Arts Partnership, a collaboration comprising the Ordway, Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Schubert Club. The Ordway aims to reflect the communities it serves and address barriers to ensure everyone can experience the power of the performing arts.