Monday, May 23, 2011

Step Afrika! Partners with The Phillips Collection to Celebrate Legendary Artist Jacob Lawrence

For Immediate Release

Step Afrika! Partners with The Phillips Collection to Celebrate Legendary Artist Jacob Lawrence

The visual and performing arts come together to produce an innovative collaboration centered around Lawrence's The Migration Series

STEP AFRIKA! is partnering with The Phillips Collection to give birth to a new artistic experience inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s epic masterpiece The Migration Series. In an innovative collaboration between the visual and performing arts, Step Afrika!—Washington’s highly celebrated dance company and the Nation’s Capital first and only Cultural Ambassador—draws inspiration from Lawrence’s iconic series on view at the Phillips and its role as a center for its study and display. The dynamic new performance, featuring jazz, vocals, drums, dance, and visual imagery, premieres at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on June 15–26, 2011.

To Phillips Director Dorothy Kosinski, the project’s synergy is palpable: “This year we celebrate 90 years of creative innovation at The Phillips Collection. What better time to deepen our engagement with Lawrence by contributing to an endeavor that bridges artistic disciplines, builds community, and connects us to a partner as inspiring and cutting-edge as Step Afrika!.”

Step Afrika’s! new collaboration with The Phillips Collection will première during Step Afrika!’s Home Performance Series 2011 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center beginning June 15th thru June 26th. Step Afrika! will perform excerpts from the piece at The Phillips Collection on August 18 as part of the museum’s popular after hours series Phillips After 5. Deemed “a virtuosic performance” by Washington Post Pulitzer-winner Sarah Kaufman, the award winning dance company will unveil new stepping choreography chronicling the historic journey from South to North in the United States, emulating several panels of Lawrence’s legendary The Migration Series.

“The Phillips Collection has invested substantial resources in educating teachers and students alike, encouraging and bringing about a heightened awareness of the Great Migration of African-Americans and its significant place in America’s history, “ says C. Brian Williams, founder and Executive Director of Step Afrika!. “ Coupled with our own research into the dance and music of the late 1800’s along with the countless stories of Southern migrants, Step Afrika! will produce a performance unlike any other in our 17 year history. It is an absolute must see for lovers of dance, art, history and culture.”

A recipient of the Mayor's Arts Award for "Outstanding Contribution to Arts in Education" and "Innovation in the Arts", Step Afrika! has been repeatedly recognized as one of the region’s most exciting arts organizations, also receiving a feature in Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of Greater Washington's “Best Small Charities.”

For tickets, call the Atlas box office at 202.399.7993 (press “2”) or purchase on line at

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