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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New exhibition i found god in myself marking the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s seminal poem, opens at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on Sept. 19

Free exhibit commemorates Ntozake Shange’s poem, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf; related programming to include Q&A with Shange

SEPTEMBER 2—The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will kick off its fall season with the dynamic introspective exhibition, i found god in myself: the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls, a multimedia artist collaboration celebrating the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking choreopoem/playfor colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. The exhibit will open to the public on Friday, September 19 in the Center’s Latimer/Edison gallery. The Schomburg Center is located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem, New York.

Curated by cultural tastemaker Souleo, i found god in myself explores issues of femininity and gender, love and loss, empowerment and sisterhood. Through 20 specially-commissioned visual pieces by local artists including Renee Cox, Rafia Santana,  Margaret Rose Vendryes, Dianne Smith and Kimberly Mayhorn,  the exhibition garners inspiration from the influential choreopoem while providing commentary to the social, political, and personal issues affecting women of color.

“This exhibition underscores the conversation Ms. Shange started, extending the legacy and impact of her work into the visual arts medium,” explains Souleo. “The issues surrounding love, sexuality, gender equality, racial identity, and, ultimately, self-love that she wrote forty years ago remain relevant today.”

Since the play’s debut performance in 1974, Shange’s work has captivated, provoked, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the world. Since, the work has remained a cornerstone of feminist, black, and LGBTQ-theory studies in colleges and theaters alike, both in the United States and abroad.

The exhibit is sponsored by AARP, Cuba Libre and Harlem Flo. Says Dionne Polite, Associate State Director for Multicultural Outreach for AARP New York:“AARP New York is thrilled to support this exhibition and series of events, as we honor Ms. Shange’s powerful words that have inspired a whole generation to be bold and brave.”

Supplementing the exhibition is archival material that traces the journey of Shange’s text from its very first performance at a California bar nearly 40 years ago to its critically acclaimed run on Broadway. In similar spirit, i found god in myself-related pieces will be found on displayat two nearby satellite locations, The Sol Studio and La Maison d’Art, both in Harlem.

“It is not only gratifying, but joyous that the renowned Schomburg Library has taken upon itself the further enrichment of For Colored Girls through the visual arts,” says Ms. Shange. “I am so excited to see what these artists have created.”

i found god in myself will run in the Schomburg’s Latimer/Edison galley until January 3, 2015. Additionally, the following venues will be displaying satellite exhibits at the following locations until October 25, 2014:

Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 6pm

La Maison d’Art

259 West 132nd Street

Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 6pm

The Sol Studio

2073 7th Avenue

The Schomburg will also be hosting two exhibit-related public programs to further commemorate the fortieth anniversary of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf:

October 15th at 6:30pm

Special panel discussion and Q&A with Ntozake Shange + Special Guests

November 20th at 6:30pm

Talks at the Schomburg: Black Art + Identity Politics

 

For Schomburg media inquiries contact:

Adenike Olanrewaju, 212-592-7008; adenikeolanrewaju@nypl.org

 

For Ntozake Shange inquiries, contact:

Stephanie Carnegie, 718-954-2697, carnegiepr@gmail.com

 

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of The New York Public Library, is generally recognized as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world. For over 80 years the Center has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent.  Educational and Cultural Programs at the Schomburg Center complement its research services and interpret its collections. Seminars, forums, workshops, staged readings, film screenings, performing arts programs, and special events are presented year-round.  More information about Schomburg’s collections and programs can be found at www.schomburgcenter.org.

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-seven branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages.  All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.

SPONSORS

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics.

About Harlem Flo

Harlem Flo, a flower boutique, opened its doors in Harlem in 2007. Founded by owners Louis Gagliano and Stefan Handl, Harlem Flo specializes in modern, elegant and playful designs using high-end flowers, providing decor for corporate and special events, weddings and private homes all over Manhattan.

About Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre – Original Formula Rum & Cola® is all about encompassing fun, convenience and quality. This iconic spirit beverage has real rum, real cola and is ready-to-drink! Enjoy the #1 cocktail in the world by ordering it at your local liquor store.

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