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Black History Month

Stories of Resilience: Black History Journey Through the Arts

2024 UA Performance Series
Stories of Resilience:  Black History Journey Through the Arts
Artist Talk at 1:30 pm with Richard Duarte Brown and Malik Carrington
A partnership of UA Parks & Rec and the Upper Arlington LIbrary, with support from the City’s Community Relations Committee, Equal UA, Upper Arlington Schools, and the Upper Arlington Community Foundation


Celebrate the strength, unity, and rich tapestry of Black history by spotlighting the resilience embedded in the artistic expressions of the African American community. Experience the power of storytelling through a diverse range of performances and hands-on art activities that invite you to be a part of the creative process and express your own narrative. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect, celebrate, and contribute to the resilience and creativity of black artists and business owners that contribute to the rich and thriving culture in our communities.

Art Exhibit
February 10–29
Upper Arlington Public Library
Curated by Donte Woods-Spikes
Throughout the month of February, an array of artwork will be on display by talented local black artists. 

Food Vendors
FoodSoul’s Cuisine
For the Love of Dough

Event Schedule
1:30 pm – Artist Talk with Richard “Duarte” Brown and Malik Carrington
Location: Library Theatre
From a young age, Columbus artist Richard “Duarte” Brown has been deeply immersed in the arts, driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Despite being discouraged by those around him who claimed he couldn’t sustain a living as an artist, Brown remained steadfast in his pursuit, viewing art as a powerful means of uplifting and elevating communities.
Brown’s artistic journey has taken him across the United States, with his work showcased in museums and galleries nationwide. Alongside his own artistic pursuits, he has dedicated himself to nurturing the talents of young artists and students, serving as a mentor and guiding light. Notably, Brown curated the inaugural art show at the Streetlight Guild, a non-profit arts organization. This exhibit prominently featured the artwork of Columbus folk art legend Smoky Brown, whose contributions to the local arts scene have recently garnered increased recognition. Growing up without a father, Richard Duarte Brown found a paternal figure in Smoky Brown, fostering a deep sense of familial connection within the Columbus arts community. Following Smoky’s passing in 2005, his wife entrusted Brown with her husband’s cherished artwork, a gesture that felt like a profound inheritance. In recognition of his remarkable contributions to the arts, Richard Duarte Brown was honored with the prestigious Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship in 2022. This esteemed fellowship provided him with access to Robinson’s former home and studio, a program facilitated by the Columbus Arts Council and the Columbus Museum of Art. Additionally, Brown was bestowed with the 2022 Governor’s Award for his tireless efforts in inspiring strength, wisdom, and courage among students throughout Central Ohio, further solidifying his impactful presence within the community. Brown will be joined by his mentee, Malik Carrington, a local mixed media artist passionate about expressing feelings of togetherness and family through his work. Hailing from Columbus, Carrington has nurtured his love for the arts by actively engaging with youth in the community. He takes pride in forging new connections and fostering inclusivity by uniting individuals from diverse backgrounds within the community. 

2 pm – Spoken Word: Cynthia Amoah
Location: Library Atrium
Cynthia Amoah is a Columbus, Ohio based poet, performer, and teaching artist. She received her MFA from The New School (Poetry) in 2019 where she was awarded the prestigious Paul Violi Poetry Prize (2018), as well as Excellence In Poetry (2019). Amoah began competing nationally in recitation and motivational speaking engagements in 2006. Since then, Amoah’s dynamic voice and strong stage presence has captured and inspired diverse audiences, both locally and globally. Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Amoah’s voice reflects the strong and colorful oral traditions of her homeland, which undoubtedly cultivates and shapes her work. Although influenced by diasporic motifs, Amoah transcends limitations and labels, instead embracing a holistic, multifaceted identity. An activist and humanist, Amoah’s work often highlights lost stories of her immediate worlds, while also transcending the marginalized groups she delineates. This balance is delicate, but she walks it with effectual grace. This grace, and strength as a performer, has secured Amoah performances at prestigious venues, including The Lincoln Theatre, The Columbus Museum of Art, The United Nations Information Center (Accra), TEDxDrewUniversity, and TEDxOhioStateUniversity (where she performed Honam, her most notable poem), among others. 

2:30 pm – Black Conversations presented by InPulse Dance Company
Choreographed by Trezon Dancy
Location: Library Atrium
InPulse Dance Company is self-expression through mind, body, and soul. Our vision is supporting the opportunity to self express through movement. Trezon Dancy, a native from Hartford, Connecticut, is a Choreographer, Performing Artist, and Educator. Dancy has worked with various artist throughout his life such as Travis Gatling, Kim Stroud, Nathan Andary, Earl Mosley, Ronald k. Brown, Kyle Abraham (A.I.M. Dancers) and many others. Dancy graduated High School from Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford, Connecticut. Dancy also received his Bachelor degree, Dance: Performance and Choreography at Ohio University in 2017. Upon Graduation, Dancy accepted a First Company position with the world-renowned Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. During college, he began to explore his choreographic mind, methods, and theories. As a choreographer, Dancy works evokes emotions and aims to connect audiences by guiding them through genuine and visceral movement, inspired by familiar life and human obstacles. For Dancy, the creation process starts with remembered experiences. Those memories serve as an archive to activate the creating thought. Though the work is abstract, the viewer is encouraged to develop his own interpretation, and find personal life connections visually, physically and spiritually.

2:30 pm – Button People Making Activity with Richard Duarte Brown and Malik Carrington
Library: Adjacent to Library Atrium
Draw inspiration from Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s passion for buttons and collaborate with Richard Duarte Brown and Malik Carrington in crafting people made from buttons, pipe cleaners, and string. Join fellow community members to create a button person as distinctive as yourself! All ages are welcome to participate in this enjoyable activity.

3:15 pm – Musical Medley: Stories of the Harlem Renaissance
Curated and Facilitated by Donte Woods-Spikes
Performed by Qamil, Stevi and Donovan
Location: Library Atrium
Donte Woods-Spikes is renowned for his diverse array of talents, including professional speaking, community engagement, and video documentation. His expertise has garnered interviews with numerous news outlets, invitations to participate in panel discussions, and involvement in a wide range of projects. Donte’s overarching objective is to foster understanding and bridge gaps beyond stereotypes by sharing authentic experiences through storytelling and documentary work.

3:15 pm – Button People Making
Location: Adjacent to Library Atrium
Draw inspiration from Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s passion for buttons and collaborate with Richard Duarte Brown and Malik Carrington in crafting people made from buttons, pipe cleaners, and string. Come together with fellow community members to create a button person as distinctive as yourself! All ages are welcome to participate in this enjoyable activity.


Feb 24 2024


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


UA Public Library - Tremont
2800 Tremont Rd, Upper Arlington, OH 43220
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