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BAM Announces PJ Morton, Tarriona 'Tank' Ball, and More for 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let Freedom Ring features the work of eight Brooklyn-based artists who use their art as a visual metaphor for the idea of freedom.

BAM Announces PJ Morton, Tarriona 'Tank' Ball, and More for 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brooklyn Academy of Music today announced details of its 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which brings together artists, activists, civic leaders, and the public for a communal commemoration and reflection on the life and legacy of Dr. King, on Monday, January 18, 2021. The 2021 event welcomes back artists who have performed at BAM. Performers include Grammy-winning solo artist and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, Tank and the Bangas lead vocalist Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Vy Higgensen's award-winning choir Sing Harlem!, Brooklyn-based poet and BAM Artist Resident Timothy DuWhite, spoken word artist Ashley August, with more participants to be announced at a later date. The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be digitally streamed for free on BAM.org.

The anchor event will be complemented by a week-long public/outdoor art project. Harnessing the scale of BAM's outdoor digital outpost, Let Freedom Ring features the work of eight Brooklyn-based artists who use their art as a visual metaphor for the idea of freedom, inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and conversations around the historic 2021 presidential inauguration. The acclaimed artists-Derrick Adams, Alvin Armstrong, Lizania Cruz, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jasmine Wahi (more to be announced at a later date)-seek to encourage moments of reflection and dialogue. BAM will also present a free film screening of William Greaves's newly-restored documentary, Nationtime, about the National Black Political Convention of 1972, when 10,000 Black politicians, activists, and artists went to Gary, Indiana, to forge a national unity platform in advance of the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions. The film will run virtually on January 18, 2021.

"BAM's Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a beloved tradition and one of the most important events on our calendar. Though we can't gather in person, we were determined to bring our communities together and create a space for celebration and reflection," said BAM Vice President of Education and Community Engagement, Coco Killingsworth. "It will be a joyful day of music and presentation by incredible artists, activists, and civic leaders who inspire us. We're pleased to continue this tradition as we bring the energy of our annual celebration into homes around the world."

The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged. RSVP will be available on December 23, 2020. The event will be streamed for free on BAM.org.

Full Event Details

The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

PJ Morton, Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Sing Harlem!, Timothy DuWhite, Ashley August, and more
Monday, January 18, 2021
Virtual
FREE (RSVPs are strongly encouraged, at BAM.org)

The Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., brings together artists, activists, civic leaders, and the public for a communal commemoration and reflection on the life and legacy of Dr. King, Jr. Audience members from around the world are invited to join BAM for New York City's largest public celebration of Dr. King's legacy, a free virtual program featuring Grammy Awardwinning gospel and R&B artist and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, Tank and the Bangas lead vocalist Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Vy Higgensen's award-winning choir Sing Harlem!, Brooklynbased poet and 2020-2021 BAM Artist Resident Timothy DuWhite, spoken word artist Ashley August, and other leading artists and changemakers. The 2021 event draws inspiration from Dr. King's words, his life, and the actions of those around the nation who continue the fight for equality and justice. The tribute to Dr. King grounds us in a message of hard-earned hope. Includes Closed Captioning. Visit BAM.org for more information

Visual art: Let Freedom Ring

Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah
Art by Derrick Adams, Alvin Armstrong, Lizania Cruz, Hank Willis Thomas, & Jasmine Wahi
January 15-21, 2021
The BAM sign screen (corner of Flatbush Ave & Lafayette Ave)
Run time: Looped continuously
FREE

Harnessing the scale of BAM's outdoor digital signpost as a vehicle for public art, Let Freedom Ring features the work of eight Brooklyn-based creatives who are deeply engaged in an ongoing dialogue about the role of artists, art, social justice, equity, and inclusion. Spearheaded by BAM Curator-at-Large Larry Ossei-Mensah, the installation is centered around the art of Brooklyn and connects the community with larger cultural dialogues around freedom. Timed to coincide with the nation's annual commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the historic 2021 Presidential and Vice-Presidential inauguration, the acclaimed artists invite the viewer to engage critically with the work and reflect on what freedom truly means in 2021. Let Freedom Ring includes new and existing work by Derrick Adams, Alvin Armstrong, Lizania Cruz, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jasmine Wahi. More artists to be announced at a later date. The installation will be presented on the BAM sign at the corner of Lafayette and Flatbush Avenues and will run from January 15 through January 21.

Let Freedom Ring is an extension of the Freedom 2020 Awakening Campaign in collaboration with Unfinished, featuring artist-designed billboards throughout the United States. The year-long campaign launched in October 2020 and responds to For Freedoms' themes of healing, listening, justice, and awakening. Visit BAM.org for more information.

Film: Nationtime (1972), directed by William Greaves

Special introduction by Rukia Lumumba
January 18, 2021
Virtual
FREE (RSVPs are mandatory, at BAM.org)
Tickets are limited

Best known for his avant-garde meta-documentary Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, William Greaves (1926-2014) was also the director of over 100 documentary films, the majority focused on African American history, politics, and culture. Nationtime is a report on the National Black Political Convention held in Gary, Indiana, in 1972, a historic event that gathered black voices from across the political spectrum, among them Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King, Richard Hatcher, Amiri Baraka, Charles Diggs, and H. Carl McCall. Narrated by Sidney Poitier, the film was considered too militant for television broadcast at the time and has since circulated only in an edited 60-minute version. This new 4K restoration from IndieCollect, with funding from Jane Fonda and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, returns the film to its original length and visual quality. Courtesy of Kino Lorber. (80min)

Rukia Lumumba, Co-Founder and Executive Director of People's Advocacy Institute, will give a special introduction, reflecting on the legacy of the 1972 National Black Political Convention and her work as the co-producer of the 2020 Black National Convention.




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