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BLACKLIGHT SUMMIT GUIDE THE CLARICE SMITH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

Welcome!

PRESENTED BY THE ARTIST PARTNER PROGRAMS

QUICK LINKS:

AboutMissionLand AcknowledgementSummit Schedule • Day 1 Schedule • Day 2 Schedule • Day 3 Schedule • People

ABOUT

A Black, POC and LGBTQ+ celebratory space and an open invitation for participation, learning and conversation with all.

Come as you are. See us as we are. Imagine and act on what can be.

To interrogate this unique historical moment, the BlackLight Summit seeks to be a spark that ignites daring innovation and reveals the creativity within the dance ecosystem in America. Our inaugural BlackLight Summit is a year-long dance initiative that investigates how time, people, possibility and hope can come together to examine legacy, citizenship and scholarship. The summit asks, through the practice of being socially responsible within the arts: How do we create traditions? How do we transform them into enduring legacies?

The peak of the BlackLight Summit is a virtual three-day convening that features roundtable conversations, movement labs and artistic presentations from BlackLight featured artists Micaela Taylor, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Candace Scarborough and Jamal Abrams. Our initiative aims to re-envision how dance can be a conduit to galvanize imagination, resilience, and inventiveness.

MISSION

This summit is a convening that re-envisions dance performance as a conduit to galvanize the social imaginations, resilience and inventiveness of citizens, thinkers, activists and artists. This multi-day gathering uses the medium of dance/choreography as a catalyst to:

  • Create a platform to amplify, inspire and affirm the narratives/experiences of marginalized groups; specifically BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities
  • Aspiring to facilitate an equitable presentation series for emerging millennial artists of color; specifically black artists
  • Developing fertile educational experiences through immersive exposure and multifaceted access
  • Facilitating courageous spaces that are invested in fostering dialogues with/for audiences and community members of The Clarice

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HONOR NATIVE LANDS

Before we begin, we invite you to take a moment to reflect on and acknowledge the Indigenous roots of the land that you’re on.

The Artist Partner Programs at The Clarice believes that artists can be catalysts for community change, leadership and empowerment, and we have chosen to begin the effort of building bridges across cultures by acknowledging what has been buried by honoring the truth.

We are standing on the ancestral lands of the Piscataway People, who were among the first in the Western Hemisphere to encounter European colonists. And we honor the enslaved who assisted with the creation of this University. We pay respects to these and other elders, past and present. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, immigration, and settlement that bring us together here today.

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CONNECT WITH US

OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

KEY HASHTAGS

#BlackLightSummit #KeeptheLightOnBLS #TheClarice #SaveOurStages #KeepCreatingUMD

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SUMMIT SCHEDULE

DAILY SCHEDULE GUIDES WILL BE AVAILABLE THE WEEK OF THE SUMMIT.

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

PREVIEW EVENT: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25

5:30PM EST - Arts Citizenship Talk (ACTnow)

Challenge and Change: Revelations of Black Women in the Arts

Featuring Micaela Taylor, Candace Scarborough, Shanice Mason & Kahina Haynes.

Moderated by Ronya-Lee Anderson.

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DAY 1: THURSDAY, MARCH 4 • LEGACY

Times listed are in Eastern Standard Time.

Day 1 Highlights:

Keynote Speech by Christopher K. Morgan & Kahina Haynes (Thu, Mar 4 at 11AM)

Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place and internationally acclaimed dance artist Christopher K. Morgan and Executive Director of The Dance Institute of Washington and visionary arts activist Kahina Haynes come together for the BlackLight Summit’s opening day keynote speech.

Panel Discussion: Burnout to Paradise–Building Legacy as Millennials (Thu, Mar 4 at 1PM)

Jamal Abrams • Regional Dancer & Choreographer

Johnnie Cruise Mercer • Founder & Artistic Director, The RedProjectNYC

Candace Scarborough • Regional Dancer & Choreographer

Micaela Taylor • Founder & Artistic Director, TL Collective

Tariq Darrell O'Meally, moderator • BlackLight Summit Producer

While in the midst of their strengths and struggles millennial and Gen Z artists of color have managed to continuously spin straw into gold. But, to what end? In this panel discussion, we will have a conversation about how an unstable economy and social upheaval have fostered circumstances in which building a lasting career in the arts is full of risk with no guarantee of reward.

For rising generations of creatives, is the choice to be an artist a pathway to a thriving sustainable legacy or a continual uphill fight for legitimacy…or both?

Keep The Light On Performance Series: Shanice Mason & Carlo Antonio Villanueva (Thu, Mar 4 at 6:30PM)

Presented in Partnership with Dance Place

Opening night of the BlackLight Summit features two mid-career BIPOC dance artists with a strong connection to the DC Metropolitan Area. Following the presentation of digital works by these artists, they will join BlackLight Summit artists Candace Scarborough and Jamal Abrams as well as BlackLight Summit Producer Tariq Darrell O'Meally to discuss works and the themes of the Summit: amplifying unfairly silenced voices through action.

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DAY 2: FRIDAY, MARCH 5 • CITIZENSHIP

Times listed are in Eastern Standard Time.

Day 2 Highlights:

Keynote Speech by Dr. Gaynell Sherrod (Fri, Mar 5 at 11AM)

Dr. Gaynell Sherrod, Associate Professor of Dance and Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University and Interim Executive Director of Phildanco, joins the BlackLight Summit's extraordinary cast of dance visionaries to deliver a keynote speech.

Panel Discussion Undocumented and Uninterrupted: The Privilege of Being Left Alone (Fri, Mar 5 at 1PM)

Rebecca A. Ferrell • Director of Programs, Dance/USA

Gabriel Mata-Ortega • Regional Dancer & Choreographer

Dr. Gaynell Sherrod • Associate Professor of Dance and Choreography, Virginia Commonwealth University & Interim Executive Director, Phildanco

Erica Saucedo • Co-Producer, Geografía & Co-Artistic Director, vis-à-vis

Cyrah Ward • Founder, The Black Box

Dr. Melissa Blanco Borelli, moderator • Associate Professor, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies & Associate Director, International Program for Creative Collaboration and Research (IPCCR)

What does it feel like to live uninterrupted? For so many marginalized groups within the United States the ability to move through the country unencumbered is a rare privilege. Be it the over-policing of Black and Brown communities; the surveillance of citizens deemed a threat due to religious beliefs, or even the ability of female-identifying people to walk home without being physically/verbally/sexually accosted. In this panel discussion, we ask ourselves: what is the possibility of safety and peace for those that society has categorized as the “other”?

Keep The Light On Performance Series: Candace Scarborough, Jamal Abrams, TL Collective & TheRedProjectNYC (Fri, Mar 5 at 8PM)

An evening featuring works by BlackLight Summit featured artists Candace Scarborough, Jamal Abrams, Micaela Taylor and Johnnie Cruise Mercer. Candace Scarborough's velvet pony is a whimsical journey that implements rhythmic footwork and musical storytelling to find grounding in the joy of being together. Jamal Abrams' Well, no sir explores minstrelsy, queerness and generational trauma using improvisation and fantastical storytelling. Johnnie Cruise Mercer and TheRedProjectNYC's Still en Indigo is a schematic, documented prayer to past thought and future possibility. Micaela Taylor & TL Collective's work follows the journey of four women who are trapped in darkness. Through their physical communication, they free themselves from this dark entrapment and are surprised by what awaits in liberation.

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DAY 3: SATURDAY, MARCH 6 • SCHOLARSHIP

Times listed are in Eastern Standard Time.

Day 3 Highlights:

Keynote Speech by Ronya-Lee Anderson (Sat, Mar 6 at 11AM)

Regional dancer, choreographer and dance scholar and educator Ronya-Lee Anderson delivers the BlackLight Summit's final keynote speech.

Panel Discussion: Knowledge is Power: Gatekeepers and Locksmiths (Sat, Mar 6 at 1PM)

Krystal Collins • Junior Staff Program Manager, Dance Place

T. Lang • Associate Professor & Founding Department Chair of Dance Performance and Choreography, Spelman College.

Charlie Maybee-Ferrell • Artistic Director, Polymath Performance Project & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Shenandoah University

Sarah Beth Oppenheim • Professional Lecturer, American University

Pam Pietro • Academic Director & Associate Arts Professor, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Dr. James Frazier, moderator • Dean, Florida State University College of Fine Arts

In a time where the dance field is prioritizing access and equity, are spaces of arts learning and arts education constructing bridges, or barriers?

This panel is a conversation about how academic spaces of learning can redefine and reimagine notions of mentorship and scholarship within dance to meet the moment, while preparing for the moments yet to come.

Keep The Light On Performance Series: Candace Scarborough, Jamal Abrams, TL Collective & TheRedProjectNYC (Sat, Mar 6 at 8PM)

An evening featuring works by BlackLight Summit featured artists Candace Scarborough, Jamal Abrams, Micaela Taylor and Johnnie Cruise Mercer. Candace Scarborough's velvet pony is a whimsical journey that implements rhythmic footwork and musical storytelling to find grounding in the joy of being together. Jamal Abrams' Well, no sir explores minstrelsy, queerness and generational trauma using improvisation and fantastical storytelling. Johnnie Cruise Mercer and TheRedProjectNYC's Still en Indigo is a schematic, documented prayer to past thought and future possibility. Micaela Taylor & TL Collective's work follows the journey of four women who are trapped in darkness. Through their physical communication, they free themselves from this dark entrapment and are surprised by what awaits in liberation.

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PEOPLE

Featured Artists

Micaela Taylor

Micaela Taylor is a professional dancer, choreographer and artistic director of the TL Collective. She is the recipient of the Inaugural Springboard EMERGE Choreographic Award and recently named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch,” 2019 and Dance Magazine cover May 2020. She is trailblazing in the city of Los Angeles and beyond. Alongside the launch of the TL Collective, Micaela has been commissioned to choreograph and teach by BODYTRAFFIC, Springboard Danse Montreal, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, B12 Festival Berlin and more. Her work has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Broad Stage, Ford Amphitheatre, The Barclay Center, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston and more.

Johnnie Cruise Mercer

As a producer, educator and artistic entrepreneur, Mercer leads as the Company Director of Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC. Previous process-memoirs, happenings and performance events have been commissioned/held at The Dixon Place, Bates Dance Festival, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, AUNTS @NYU Skirball, The NADA Conference, Abrons Arts Center, The Fusebox Festival, Gibney, Danspace Project Inc and most recently at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center! Mercer is currently 2019-2021 Artist in Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, 2020-2021 Black Artist Space to Creat AIR through The New Dance Alliance and a 2020-2021 Ping Chong + Company Creative Fellow. Find out more info on the company and the work at www.trpnyc.com.

Candace Scarborough

Candace Scarborough '12 is a performer, choreographer and certified Gaga teacher based in Baltimore, MD. She received a B.A. in Dance from the University of Maryland, where she was a recipient of the Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship. She has performed with AndaryDance, Graham Brown, Denise Leitner, Helen Simoneau Danse, maree remalia-merrygogo and Ashley Thorndike-Youssef. Candace is currently dancing for PearsonWidrig DanceTheater, Kendra Portier, and Britta Peterson. In 2016, Candace was invited by Ohad Naharin to join the Gaga Teacher Training Program in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Jamal Abrams

Jamal Abrams was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He later earned his BFA in dance from The University of the Arts. He has worked with Tariq Darell + The Unum Dance Collective, haus of bambi, as well as Sleep No More NYC. As a choreographer, he received the 2018 New Releases Commission at Dance Place. As an educator, he has had the opportunity to teach at the Baltimore County Public School Choreography Showcase, as well as Dance Fest in Shanghai. Within youth development, he has also had the opportunity to serve as the Junior Staff Manager at LUMBERYARD.

BlackLight Summit Curator & Producer

Tariq Darrell O'Meally

In his position as a Visiting Artist Series Program Guest Curator, Tariq Darrell O'Meally serves as a steward of the Visiting Artist Series artistic vision and helps shape the strategic program in collaboration with curatorial colleagues, staff, faculty, and students. As a curator, he contributes to the development and implementation of the Visiting Artist Series. With a focus on dance, O'Meally identifies, develops, and programs artistic residencies that enhance the teaching and learning of performing arts schools as well as across disciplines at UMD.

In addition to his duties as a curator for The Clarice, Tariq is a working artist in the DMV. Currently, his work focuses on being a contemporary dance artist striving to transition into a post-contemporary context. That is to say that if contemporary work interacts with the fierce urgency of now; then post-contemporary exploration integrates what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen, intersecting these concepts with the vulnerability and necessity of being human.

As a choreographer, O'Meally has presented his work at the John F. Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, By The People Festival, The Clarice Smith 34th & 35th Annual Choreographer's Showcase, Mid-Atlantic North Gala at the American College Dance Association and Richmond Dance Festival. He is a 2020-2022 Artist-In-Residence at Dance Place.

He is the Artistic Director of Tariq Darrell+the UNUM Dance Collective, a DMV based collection of dance artists seeking to create doorways and windows leading to the seen and unseen; lived and living experiences of African Americans.

As an educator, O'Meally teaches at the CityDance School & Conservatory Dance Institute of Washington in addition to presenting as a guest lecturer at Hollins University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, the National Gallery of Art, The Hirshhorn Museum, and the French Embassy. ​​​​​​O'Meally is the Founder/Director of the Dimensions Contemporary Dance Festival, which is a platform to promote, amplify, and spread the various eclectic voices of DMV contemporary dance artists of color.

O’Meally has been chosen as a 2019 Art Omi Resident Artist, as well as a 2018-2019 Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow. He also was a 2018-19 Joe’s Movement Emporium NextLOOK Artist and Dance Place’s 2017-18 New Releases Commissioned Artist. He currently holds a BFA in Dance & Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Artistic Partners

Ronya-Lee Anderson • University of Maryland, Doctoral Candidate – School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Phil Davis • Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s County Countywide Arts Coordinator Arts & Cultural Heritage Division

Elizabeth Johnoson • Dance Exchange , Associate Artistic Director & Director of Partnerships

Rebecca A. Ferrell • Dance/USA, Director of Programs

Gabriel Mata-Ortega • University of Maryland, Master of Fine Arts Candidate – School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Charlie Maybee • Shenandoah University, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Alvin Mayes • University of Maryland, Head of Dance Performance and Scholarship – School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Christopher K. Morgan • Dance Place, Executive Artistic Director

Vinny Mwano • Filmmaker, Digital Marketer, Photographer & Educator

Sarah Beth Oppenhiem • University of Maryland Alumni & Choreographer

Megan Pagado Wells • The Clarice, Associate Director of Programming

Darlene Watkins • Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Arts & Cultural Heritage Division Chief

Aisha White • Freelance Consultant

Patrik Widrig • University of Maryland, Professor of Dance Performance and Scholarship – School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

BlackLight Summit Operations Team

Erica Bondarev Rapach, Acting Executive Director – The Clarice

Tariq Darrell O'Meally, Summit Producer & Curator

Jane Hirshberg, Assistant Director for Campus & Community Engagement

Kristen Olsen, Senior Guest Experience Coordinator

Carlos Howard, Marketing Communications Coordinator

Kat Rother, Production Coordinator

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Created By
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
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