By Mel Redd
The Douglass Theatre is pleased to announce the Historically Black College and University Arts Series. The HBCU Arts Series is an ongoing cultural program to highlight the history and value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to foster greater public appreciation for their historical legacies, and to provide an outlet for artistic expression.
The Arts Series will feature performances of diverse live music, dance, video/film, and theatre; exhibits of visual fine arts and crafts; digital and photographic displays, and workshops of art education enrichment for local students.
To kick-off the series, the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers will be in concert at the Douglass Theatre on Sunday, January 20, 2019, at 5:00 pm.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are vocal artists and students at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The original Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced ‘slave songs’ to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals.
The Singers broke racial barriers in the United States and abroad in the late 19th century and entertained kings and queens in Europe. At the same time, they raised money in support of their beloved school.
In 1999, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were featured in “Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory,” a PBS award-winning television documentary series, produced by WGBH/Boston. The following year, in 2000, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame.
In July 2007, the Fisk Jubilee Singers went on a sacred journey to Ghana at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy. It was a history-making event, as the ensemble traveled to Ghana for the first time and joined in the celebration of the nation’s Golden Jubilee, the 50th independence anniversary.
In 2008, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were selected as a recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts. The award was presented by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, during a ceremony at the White House. Among the more than 200 previous recipients of the medal are writer Ralph Ellison, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie, illustrator Stan Lee, and singers Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.
“We are so excited about coming back to Macon,” exclaims Dr. Paul T. Kwami, musical director of the ensemble. ”As we tour the country our goal is to share our music with audiences, young and old, to act as ambassadors of our university and to provide a rich cultural experience. Our singers are enthusiastic, and you will be greatly enriched and deeply inspired by these brilliant young people. It will be a celebration you will not want to miss.”
For more information about the Jubilee Singers’ concert contact the Douglass Theatre box office at (478) 742-2000.
The Douglass Theatre is located at 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Macon, GA 31201.