ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Mission

The National Black Box Performing Arts Festival is a three-day event promoting cultural equity by showcasing the works of African-American and Latino artists. The Festival highlights artistically excellent works of emerging, underexposed, and underappreciated playwrights, dancers, filmmakers, spoken word artists, and vocal groups. It is an intentional effort to display art forms that transcend entertainment, highlight the human condition in ways that spark conversation, support social justice movements, and give voice to marginalized people.

Partners

The Festival is a collaboration between some of Memphis’s premier cultural institutions: Hattiloo Theatre, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, The National Civil Rights Museum and the Overton Park Conservancy.

Hattiloo Theatre - Hattiloo is a Black repertory theatre dedicated to being accessible to, relevant to, and reflective of its multi-cultural community. Hattiloo will collaborate with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra to develop and produce the dramatic narratives for “The Strange Fruit Project.” Hattiloo’s main stage, black box theatre, and the new Development Center will serve as performance venues for the festival including the dance performances, spoken word/vocal performances, and performances by celebrity guest Charles S. Dutton. For more information about Hattiloo Theatre, please see http://www.hattiloo.org.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art - The jewel of Memphis’s historic Overton Park, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art enriches the lives of its diverse community through the museum's expanding collection, varied exhibitions, and dynamic programs that reflect the art of world cultures from antiquity to the present. The Brooks will host the film component of the festival, as well as family-friendly supporting events. In the event of rain, Family Day in the Park and the Festival recap video will be shown in the Brooks. For more information about the Brooks Museum of Art, please see http://www.brooksmuseum.org/.

Memphis Symphony Orchestra - Since 1952, the Memphis Symphony has harnessed the power of music to enrich its community through exceptional music and dynamic programs with diversity and inclusion as a key component in its three sphere model of intention: Legacy, Education and Diversity. The MSO will select music from its repertory as well as curate pieces by composers of the era to accompany the dramatic narratives of “Strange Fruit Project” which it is creating in collaboration with Hattiloo Theatre. MSO will also produce an original symphonic rendition of Billie Holiday's classic, “Strange Fruit” for this historical production. For more information about the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, please see http://www.memphissymphony.org.

National Civil Rights Museum - Established in 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Through interactive exhibits, historic collections, dynamic speakers and special events, the museum offers visitors a chance to walk through history and learn more about a tumultuous and inspiring period of change. civilrightsmuseum.org

Overton Park Conservancy - Overton Park Conservancy’s vision is to foster a beautiful, welcoming and safe park that encourages our diverse community to explore, learn, create, socialize, and play. Our mission is to protect, preserve, and improve Overton Park. overtonpark.org

 

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