African-American History Month Celebrations in Jamaica Feature Arts, Dance, Music, Theater

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    February is African-American History Month, and Queens is full of activities, especially at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center and the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. On February 15th and 16th, JPAC hosts the 10th anniversary presentation of Amazing Grace: From the Auction to the White House, a performance that takes the audience on a journey from the auction steps of slavery to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. On February 20th, the Edge School of the Arts performs Four Little Girls Dance-ology, which depicts the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four girls. On February 21st, JPAC hosts Gospelfest, featuring a St. Johns University choir singing traditional hymns and foot-stomping spirituals. The United African Dance Troupe, which uses traditional African instruments and costumes, performs Speaking with the Ancestors on February 22nd and 23rd. In addition, JCAL displays The African Diva Project, an exhibit of paintings by York College Distinguished Lecturer of Fine Arts Margaret Rose Vendryes. With an opening on February 7th, this show focuses on the re-imagined works of iconic Black female diva album covers. Local artist Shenna Vaughn‘s mixed media installation is on display at JCAL throughout the month, too.

    Performance details: Amazing Grace: From the Auction to the White House, February 15th, 7:30 pm, and February 16th, 4 pm, $20; Four Little Girls Dance-ology, February 20th, 6:30 pm, $20 and $10; Gospelfest, February 21st, 7 pm, free; Speaking with the Ancestors, February 22nd, 7 pm, and February 23rd, 4 pm, $25 for adults/$10 for children under 12; Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Avenue.

    Art at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Avenue.

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    Photos by Clements Communications

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