Heroes and Villains: Art, Imagination and the Road to Improved Race Relations in Baltimore

DSC_0622Humanities Forum
Breai Mason-Campbell, Baltimore dancer, teacher, and community activist
Daphne Harrison Lecture and Performance
Thursday, April 7, 5:30 p.m.
Dance Cube, Performing Arts and Humanities Building Room 337

Bigotry and systemic injustice are characterized by emotional detachment and resistance to accountability. They are positioned at the polar ends of the spectrum we use to explain the disproportionate sufferings of Americans who are black. Thus, we remain confounded by a civic order that is unjust. By considering its power to broaden imaginations, reveal truths, and inspire empathy, this talk and dance performance will explore the ways in which Arts Education is poised to lead the way in repairing relationships and lives in what will be the deciding years of the health of Baltimore. It will also explore the potential of Arts Education to make progress not through legislation but through the power of understanding.

Breai Mason-Campbell is a Baltimore native, teacher, dancer, and cultural counselor.  A Harvard graduate, Mason-Campbell’s scholarship explores the role of secular art as a religious and moral touchstone for African-American people. Mason-Campbell has worked as an educator and administrator for New Song Community Learning Center in Sandtown since 2002. As her methodology for social change, she has written and implemented comprehensive arts-integration curricula. These include The Corner and The Colony, which uses photo essays to draw correlations between the European colonization of North America and the occupation of street corners by drug dealers, and Roots and Remixes, which engages youth in describing what it means to be African-American to the world through video.  Her work has been supported by grants from Teaching Tolerance and the Frankie Manning Foundation, which named her a Cultural Ambassador in 2014. A steward of the black vernacular movement, Mason-Campbell has directed and performed at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Mechanic Theater and the Hippodrome. Her latest work, Dancing White, asks through lecture and performance whether, because of racial politics, the color of a body limits the primal, unencumbered freedom of movement.

This event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Africana Studies Department, and the Dance Department.

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