BLACK ART MATTERS
from DAT BLACK MERMAID MAN LADY PERFORMANCE INSTALLATION by Sharon Bridgforth
BLACK ART MATTERS (February 19-28, 2016) was a 2-week long curated convening conceived by Witherspoon in collaboration with Performance in the Borderlands (ASU) that focused attention on the critical role of black arts in black liberation struggles. Featuring both Arizona artists and those with national reputations, the event brought Doris Duke theatre artist Sharon Bridgforth, spoken word poet Dahlak Brathwaite, artist-scholar Asantewa Sunni-Ali, and Black Lives Matter activist Tia Oso to inspire conversations with local writers, actors, directors, poets, and performers. Black Arts Matter collaborated with several major Phoenix institutions to widen its scope, including Arizona Commission on the Arts, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Black Theatre Troupe, Mujeres del Sol, and Black Poet Ventures, and reached over 1,000 members of the public.