Center for the Performing Arts' season to focus on African American life

August 23, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of its 2019-20 season, the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State has curated eight presentations that will tell the stories of African American life in the United States throughout the last several centuries. By means of music, theater and dance, the center will focus on “The American Experience: Through an African-American Lens.”

“It’s an honor to present the artists who comprise our season focus performances to audiences in central Pennsylvania,” said Amy Dupain Vashaw, audience and program development director at the Center for the Performing Arts. “We espouse the strong belief that the arts can provide transformative experiences that help people build empathy, feel seen and represented, and empower them to tell their own stories.”

The presentations featured in the season focus are:

Most of the presentations will be in Eisenhower Auditorium. The Imani/Catalyst and Wright concerts are scheduled for Schwab Auditorium.

“Our season focus provides for multiple and linked opportunities to learn and understand each other by interacting with artists and experiencing the passionate, authentic expression of their cultures and histories,” said George Trudeau, director of the Center for the Performing Arts. “I’m excited to take this journey with those who will be joining us this season.”

The September-through-April focus will go beyond the performances that serve as its foundation.

“In addition to the powerful stories unfolding onstage,” Vashaw said, “the community will have many opportunities to engage with the artists through panel discussions, master classes, dance workshops, lectures and more throughout the season as we closely examine what it means to be African American in the United States.”

Learn more about the season focus.

Tickets for the focus presentations and other Center for the Performing Arts performances are available by visiting Center for the Performing Arts online or calling 814-863-0255.

Sandra Zaremba and Richard Brown provide support for engagement programming related to the performances.

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Five musicians stand and smile as they hold their instruments.

    Ensemble Imani Winds will perform with Catalyst Quartet on Sept. 18, 2019, as one of eight performances highlighting the Center for the Performing Arts 2019–20 season focus, “The American Experience: Through an African-American Lens.”

    IMAGE: PIerre Lidar
  • A man sits on a bench and is surrounded by inflated balloons spelling out the word "Love."

    Saxophonist Maceo Parker and his Big Band will perform on Sept. 26, 2019, as one of eight performances highlighting the Center for the Performing Arts 2019–20 season focus, “The American Experience: Through an African-American Lens.”

    IMAGE: Boris Brever
  • A group of dancers hunker down while they form a circle.

    Dance troupe Step Afrika! will perform its program “Drumfolk” on Jan. 31 as one of eight performances highlighting the Center for the Performing Arts 2019–20 season focus, “The American Experience: Through an African-American Lens.”

    IMAGE: © Jati Lindsay
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(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 23, 2019