For over two decades during National Black History Month, Lovett has joined with the rest of the United States and Canada in paying tribute to the contributions and achievements African Americans made and continue to make in shaping American History. This year's theme, "Black Culture and the Arts" is focused on how Black culture influences and contributes to all areas of the Arts. In conjunction with the Office of Multicultural Programs, the Department of Fine Arts worked on this year's Black History Month celebration.
There are many opportunities at the school to celebrate Black History Month, and it could not have happened if it were not for the community working together. I would first like to thank Amy Story, who took our conversation and turned it into more than I could have ever imagined; Jay Freer, and the entire Fine Arts Department; LIA under the leadership of Co-Presidents Jennifer Wade-Berg and Era Singh; the US and MS Black Affinity Groups Advisors; Lovett’s Chaplains; the faculty members outside the Fine Arts Department who added their classroom work to the visual display, and the Diversity Coordinators in all three divisions that continue to do this important work!
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Director of Multicultural Programs and Services
Marquetta Johnson, local teaching artist, textile artist, and quilter, created three zoom presentations for selected Visual Arts classes K-12. The students created quilts that are hanging in the Galleria and the second floor outside the LS Art Department. Marquetta learned how to quilt from her grandmother and enjoys passing this art form to local school children in the High Museum and schools around Atlanta. Marquetta highlighted how African American quilters carry through African design qualities in their quilting in this three-part series. Students also learned how some artists use their artistry to promote social justice, equity, and inclusion. Marquetta featured both local and nationally recognized quilters who have made significant contributions to the United States’ cultural landscape. “My art expresses the freedom and joy I feel in striving to interpret insights and energies that impact my soul visually. For me, inspiration is everywhere, proving that all things are glorious and divine at the heart of all things...My dream is to spark imaginations to expand and embrace creativity as an integral part of the life experience.”
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Jeff and Sivan Hines Art Collection:
The Lovett 2021 Unity and Heritage XX: Belonging Art Show celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The exhibition has showcased artwork from Jeff and Sivan Hines’ personal art collection of Black visual art since 2001. The Hines Family's vision for this show has consistently been to open hearts and minds, creating a platform for new conversations around Black historical contributions, social justice, and equality issues, and important moments in world culture through the visual arts. The Hines family includes Jeff, Vice-Chair emeritus of the Lovett board of trustees; Sivan, parent volunteer and one of the founding members of the Lovett International Alliance (LIA); daughter Renuka, Lovett Class of 2004; and Matthew, Lovett Class of 2009.
This year, the work was photographed, blown up to large posters, and put in the gallery. Instead of bringing the actual pieces to Lovett, this option allowed us to “install” work while holding to our protocols for Covid and putting the images on two campus locations: The Galleria and the second floor outside the LS Art Department area. The Hines Family also wrote and created an audio recording to support deeper learning for the viewer or classroom teacher. Each work will have a motion sensor the viewer can initiate to listen and hear about each piece. The recording also includes prompts for discussion. The script and list of these works of art are included in this link.
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Performing Arts teachers volunteered to be interviewed about Black history and culture in their curricula and programs. They also reflected on their personal heroes and inspirational Black performers. This video is part of the Unity and Heritage XX: Belonging exhibit.
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Black History by Division:
Lovett International Alliance (LIA) is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Doors to History Competition, and a new activity this year is the Poster Scavenger Hunt. Posters highlighting historical figures are on display in the LS lobby and hallways. Teachers will be given questions whose answers can be found on the posters. Students can earn prizes from knowing the correct answers to the questions.
The students will be treated to a virtual presentation and Q & A on Thursday, February 18 with Aesha Ash, an American ballet dancer, and teacher. She had danced at the New York City Ballet, where she was the only African American woman at the time. She founded The Swan Dreams Project in 2011 and became the first African American female faculty member at the School of American Ballet in 2020.
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In keeping with the theme of "Black Culture and the Arts," the Middle School has decided to highlight the Harlem Renaissance each week. They will share information about the Harlem Renaissance's pivotal parts through Monday Morning Minutes, Bulletin Boards, and advisory activities. The Lovett International Alliance (LIA) provided the supplies that were used to decorate the hallway bulletin boards by students in Triple A, TAP, Jr. and SOC along with their advisors.
The weekly themes are listed as follows:
Week 1 (Feb. 1-5): Overview of the Harlem Renaissance
Week 2 (Feb. 8-12): Visual Arts
Week 3 (Feb. 15-19): Performing Arts/Dance
Week 4 (Feb. 22-26): Performing Arts/Music
The students will be treated to a performance and Q & A on Thursday, February 22 during assembly, with Yolanda Adams, an American gospel singer, record producer, actress, host of her own nationally syndicated morning gospel show, and former 3rd-grade teacher. She was the first Gospel artist to be awarded an American Music Award.
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The Black Affinity Group (BAG) will host two Black History Chapel Services this month, as a continuation of their January, King Chapel.
The students will be treated on February 22 during assembly to a performance followed by a Q & A with the Black Violin, an American hip-hop duo from Fort Lauderdale, FL, comprised of two classically trained string instrumentalists, Kevin Sylvester and Wilner Baptiste, who goes by the stage names Kev Marcus and Wil B. Kev Marcus plays the violin, and Wil B. plays the viola. For over a decade, the classical-meets-hip-hop duo has steadily built a devoted following.