Center Stage and the Baltimore Chapter of Jack and Jill Present THE GROUND ON WHICH WE STAND: An Exploration of Black Excellence

The Baltimore Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. in partnership with Baltimore Center Stage are pleased to present The Ground On Which We Stand: An Exploration of Black Excellence on Sunday, February 12 at 4:00 p.m. This one-time performance will feature music, dance, art, film and projection technology highlighting breakthrough moments in history.

The program will be created and performed in collaboration with children of Jack and Jill, an organization dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders. For this performance, 100 Baltimore Chapter youth (ages 3-18) were challenged to match the excellence of the best of the artistic canon. Luminaries whose work will be celebrated include poet Langston Hughes, author and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, photographer James Van Der Zee, author Zora Neale Hurston, singer Billie Holiday, novelist and poet James Baldwin, choreographer Debbie Allen, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, inventor Elijah McCoy, astronaut Michael Anderson, politician Shirley Chisholm, boxer Joe Louis and many others.

"The Ground On Which We Stand will celebrate the iconic African American voices who have redefined history, including those behind the scenes whose revolutionary contributions are rarely lauded," said Hana S. Sharif, associate artistic director at Center Stage and director of the performance. "It's so important for the next generation to see themselves as part of this continuum of excellence. We've encouraged the young people participating in the program to challenge themselves creatively-the performance will truly showcase their many skills and talents."

The performance will also include a pre-show gallery display in the theater lobby highlighting paintings and photographs by the children, curated by two Jack and Jill teens.

Tickets are $15 and proceeds will benefit the Jack & Jill Foundation of America, Inc. and Franklin Square Elementary Middle School in Baltimore City. The performance will take place at Baltimore Center Stage: 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202. To purchase tickets, visit or call 410.332.0033.

About Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and the Baltimore Chapter
Jack and Jill of America, Inc., is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2-19, dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.

Jack and Jill boasts more than 230 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members. Each chapter plans annual programming activities guided under a national theme. Through service projects, Jack and Jill of America creates a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development.

The Baltimore Chapter recently celebrated 70 years of service to Baltimore City and the surrounding areas. The 61 members and 100+ children regularly engage in activities geared towards programmatic thrusts including: cultural, education, health, civic and social/recreation. Multifaceted initiatives such as STE[A]M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) and Healthy Living (centered on lifestyle improvements and health development) all help our kids and others to know that they have The Power to Make a Difference!

About Baltimore Center Stage

Baltimore Center Stage is a professional, nonprofit institution committed to entertaining, engaging and enriching audiences through bold, innovative and thought-provoking classical and contemporary theater.

Named the State Theater of Maryland in 1978, Baltimore Center Stage has steadily grown as a leader in the national regional theater scene. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and Managing Director Michael Ross, Baltimore Center Stage is committed to creating and presenting a diverse array of world premieres and exhilarating interpretations of established works.

Baltimore Center Stage believes in access for all-creating a welcoming environment for everyone who enters its theater doors and, at the same time, striving to meet audiences where they are. In addition to its Mainstage, Off Center and Family Series productions in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood, Baltimore Center Stage ignites conversations among a global audience through digital initiatives, which explore how technology and the arts intersect. The theater also nurtures the next generation of artists and theater-goers through the Young Playwrights Festival, Student Matinee Series and many other educational programs for students, families and professionals.

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