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African-American Arts Festival, Feb. 20-22

Music, Poetry and Theater Highlight Celebration

February 6, 2013
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

In recognition of Black History Month, the University of Baltimore's Spotlight UB live performance series will host UB's fifth annual African-American Arts Festival, Feb. 20-22. It will feature singer/songwriter QueenEarth, Lenneal Henderson's one-man show about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Baltimore City College Choir, a night of social justice poetry, and a performance of The Core Ensemble's Of Ebony Embers. The festival is co-sponsored by the UB Diversity & Culture Center, PNC Bank and the Masters of Public Administration Student Association. Unless otherwise indicated, all events will be held in the Wright Theater in the UB Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

QueenEarth first graced the Spotlight UB stage at the University's first Across Words event a few years ago, and she kicked off the 2012 African-American Arts Festival as well. In addition to her work as a singer/songwriter, she is also a guitarist, emcee, and beatboxer. Her solo EP, Introducing ... QueenEarth, serves as a preview of her upcoming full-length debut, Adult Contemporary. She will begin this year's festival with a free acoustic performance on the second floor of UB’s Student Center on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at noon.

Also that day, at 6:30 p.m., the UB student club MPASA fundraiser will feature the gospel music of the Baltimore City College Choir, a poetry reading and a performance by UB faculty Lenneal Henderson of his one-man show about Thurgood Marshall. In keeping with his work as an internationally recognized urban scholar, Henderson has performed a series of educational plays at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture in Baltimore, including his Marshall show and a show about the musician Cab Calloway. The BCC choir, led by Linda R. Hall, artistic director, has delighted audiences on television and radio, and has shared the stage with Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. As a fundraiser, the evening is open to the public on a pay-what-you-can basis. The performances will be followed by a light reception.

On Thursday, Feb. 21st at 7 p.m. (also the 48th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X), local members of Baltimore's legendary spoken word arts movement will appear as a festival highlight. Ron Kipling Williams, Bashi Rose, Slangston Hughes and Daniel Wilson will host a night of social justice-themed poetry, entitled "Voices of Thunder." An open mic will follow their powerful performances. Tickets for this event are $5 general admission and free for students.

The festival concludes on Friday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. when PNC Bank presents The Core Ensembles' production, Of Ebony Embers, a series of vignettes exploring the Harlem Renaissance with music and stories. Of Ebony Embers, a chamber music theater work for actor and trio (cello, piano and percussion), celebrates the lives of great African-American poets Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay as seen through the eyes of muralist and painter Aaron Douglas. The performance is free to the public and will be followed by a light reception.

These events, as with most Spotlight UB events, takes place at the Wright Theater, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. Reduced rate parking is available on event nights at UB's Maryland Avenue Garage, located on Maryland Avenue between Biddle and Chase streets, or at the Fitzgerald Garage on Oliver Street; a voucher will be provided at the box office, and the UB shuttle is available to transport patrons between the venue and the garage.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.

Complete details about the Spotlight UB 2013 season are available here. For more information about Spotlight UB, visit the web page or send an e-mail to