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Broward Center Launches Arts For Action Black Voices To Address Social Issues

Public invited to participate in June 2 “Bridging the Gap” event.

Broward Center Launches Arts For Action Black Voices To Address Social Issues

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts has launched Arts for Action to lift voices that are vital to the Broward community with an emphasis on how the arts and artists can be a force for change in addressing critical issues of social justice and racial inequality.

Arts for Action: Black Voices will feature discussions, performances, and art-making events, both virtually and in person, and will culminate in an outdoor arts festival in Esplanade Park next year. The project will launch with Bridging the Gap on June 2 at 6:30 p.m., a moderated discussion featuring Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus, the acclaimed musicians known as Black Violin.

"The Broward Center is in a unique position to bring diverse artists and the community together to explore critical social issues that can lead to change," said Broward Center President and CEO Kelley Shanley. "It begins as a community effort to amplify voices with the Community Foundation of Broward generously providing the funding through their Art of Community grant. Wil and Kev first came to the Broward Center as students seeing a SEAS school-day performance and later appeared on our stages to sell-out crowds. Now they return in an important role as social activists. We share a common goal: to promote understanding, equity and inclusion through the arts."

Bridging the Gap: A conversation about race and the performing arts on June 2 will feature a roundtable with Black Violin joined by Broadway actor and performance coach Syndee Winters, who appeared on Broadway in such shows as Lion King and Hamilton, and Darius V. Daughtry, founder and artistic director of Art Prevails Project, a performing arts organization dedicated to expanding cultural conversation through theatrical performance, arts education, and community engagement. The panel will be moderated by Neki Mohan, an adjunct professor at Barry University who served as a broadcast journalist at WPLG for 16 years.

Grammy-nominees for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for Take the Stairs, Black Violin first met and played together in the orchestra at the Dillard Center for the Arts, an arts magnet high school in Fort Lauderdale. Each year they reach deep into urban communities with numerous performances for students and hands-on engagement with youth symphonies and community centers. Through programs such as Turnaround Arts, the duo connects with more than 100,000 students throughout the year, mostly at low-income and Title 1 schools, and have adopted Bethune Elementary in an ongoing mentorship program.

"We see this important dialogue as an opportunity to bridge the gap between Broward's artistic institutions and the communities they serve," said Black Violin, regarding this special event. "Using the arts and intentional dialogue, we hope to give a voice to those voices who are too often underrepresented."

Presented live to a limited, physically distanced audience, Bridging the Gap will be livestreamed free to the general public on June 2 at 6:30 p.m. Zoom Registration is required at BrowardCenter.org.


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