Camille A. Brown Launches New BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM Community Initiative
Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CAB&D), recognized for its visceral movement and unflinching approach to comedic and controversial themes, announces Black Girl Spectrum, a multi-faceted community engagement initiative. The new yearlong initiative, lead by Bessie-nominated choreographer Camille A. Brown, uses dance as a means to address civic, educational, and economic struggle through cultural and creative empowerment. Aimed to explore the spectrum of identities among African American females, the initiative will also serve as participatory research to mold and inform Brown's new work-in-progress, Black Girl (working title), which is slated to premiere in September 2015.
"I am inspired to continue pushing the boundaries of arts and activism. I constantly ask myself what more can be done? How can I activate my work in a way that moves beyond performance and impacts my community? Dance can be a seen as a community's embodied visioning, storytelling, and resistance practice. My hope is to create a dialogue that sparks larger shifts," says Camille A. Brown. "CAB&D acknowledges the inherent brilliance held within communities of African American girls and women and we are launching Black Girl Spectrum to amplify that brilliance and share the joys and triumphs of these communities. The end result of a creative process is no longer a dance work, it is a movement."
The foundation of Black Girl Spectrum is rooted in community research and participation. This will be explored through five core areas: public forums and intentional dialogues; community engagement events; strategic partnerships; youth mentorship; and community performances and showings with Camille A. Brown & Dancers.
In conjunction with CAB&D 2014-2015 tour, the company will be holding Black Girl Spectrum community workshops within the company's residences in almost every city. Already this year, CAB&D has held pilot workshops with City Center and Dance Cleveland which allowed Brown the opportunity to clearly define the objectives and vision of the initiative based on identity, struggles and triumphs seen across all four of these pilots.
Along with official Black Girl Spectrum events, CAB&D will sponsor teenage black girls to join the company on tour. Already the company sponsored two young women in July on tours to Wesleyan University and Bates Dance Festival. Ms. Brown's vision in bringing young Black female students on the road is designed to encourage and inspire them to be leaders in their communities and desired careers. It is Ms. Brown's hope that being both accessible and vulnerable will empower them to go after their dreams without abandon.
In order to further the conversation and reach as many communities as possible, The Black Girl Spectrum will be partnering with local organizations. To partner or host an event with The Black Girl Spectrum, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.