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Artsline - Explore Poetry, Theatre, and Dance for Black History Month!

Felon
Book art from the cover of Felon: Poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Artsline: Virtual Edition || February 1, 2021

“For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.” ~Maya Angelou

As we begin Black History Month, keep your eye out for fantastic opportunities from our arts and culture community to deepen your knowledge and experience of Black history. With all that we experienced in the past year, understanding our full history as a nation is more crucial than ever Seeing and hearing all the members of our community is a priority for being a part of the community. Take this month to explore what your community offers for Black History Month.


1. VIRGINIA UNTOLD: THE AFRICAN AMERICAN NARRATIVE
History
February 3, 6pm
Online

Virginia Untold

Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative examines records in the Library of Virginia’s collections for hidden histories and often overlooked stories detailing the lives of free and enslaved Black and multiracial individuals in the commonwealth prior to 1870. Join their experts for a project overview, digitization update, and tips on using this free digital resource. They’ll also share advice on using primary source documents from Virginia Untold in the classroom, in keeping with the recommendations from the Governor’s Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth. Registration required for this free event.


2. BLACK LIVES ON STAGE MATTER SERIES
Performing Arts
February 5, 10pm
Online 
$15/Adults, $10/Students

Black Lives on stage Matter

DMR Adventures presents the Black Lives On Stage Matter (BLOSM) Livestream Series, a recurring livestream series that will create discussions on how to decolonize white theatre and give viewers an exciting look at Black contribution to theatre – past and present. The goal of BLOSM is to build up Black and Brown students in the performing arts for the restoration of culture. In tandem with the concert series, DMR Adventures has created an all new BLOSM Scholarship Fund. This scholarship fund will help bring performing arts education to BIPOC students in the Charlottesville area.


3. GROUNDHOG DAY
Film
February 1 & 2, 7pm
The Byrd Theatre, 2908 West Cary Street, Richmond, 23221
$10

Groundhog Day

The Byrd Theatre is thrilled to bring back their traditional showing of Groundhog Day! Synopsis: A narcissistic T.V. weatherman, along with his attractive-but-distant producer and mawkish cameraman, is sent to report on Groundhog Day in the small town of Punxsutawney, where he finds himself repeating the same day over and over. This public screening is limited to 50 attendees. Purchase tickets online.

4. DOLLY HOLMES, NEW PAINTINGS
Visual Arts
February 4, 7pm - virtual opening
February 5, 5pm and February 6, 1pm - open house
Exhibit runs through February 27

Dolly Holmes

Dolly Holmes, New Paintings opens at Eric Schindler Gallery with a live stream virtual opening on their Facebook page. To see works in person, attend the open house one one of the next two days. All other viewings by appointment. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for weekly updates on walk-in hours.


5. THIS BITTER EARTH
Theatre
Thru February 13, times vary
Online and at Richmond Triangle Players at the Robert B. Moss Theatre, 1300 Altamont Avenue, Richmond, 23230
$10-35

This Bitter Earth

Richmond Triangle Players presents The Bitter Earth, a story about deep love challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, the couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class and the bravery it takes to love out loud. This production will feature a reduced capacity of 20 seats per performance, in accordance with CDC guidelines. A streaming version is also available. Purchase tickets online.


6. RUSSIAN TREASURES
Music
February 5 at 7pm, February 6 at 8pm, and February 7 at 3pm
Online and at Dominion Energy Center, 600 E Grace St, Richmond, 23219
$10-$82

Russian Treasures

Guest conductor Joseph Young will be joined onstage by pianist Orion Weiss, who makes his acclaimed return to Richmond, and by the Richmond Symphony’s own Samuel Huss on the trumpet for the spectacular and highly demanding Shostakovich Piano concerto n.1. The flamboyant Islamey opens this concert inspired by Russian music, and will be followed by Tchaikovsky’s masterwork, Serenade for Strings. Join the symphony for a safe, socially-distanced in-person concert OR watch from home via their online live-stream option. Both In-Person and Watch from Home attendees can enjoy the concert online through March 23. Purchase tickets online.


7. SHIM SHAM SATURDAY
Dance
February 6, 1pm (beginners) and 3:30pm (intermediate)
Online
Pay-What-You-Can/Sliding Scale ($5 to $30)

Shim Sham

RVA Swing teaches the classic jazz line dance The Shim Sham, as popularized by Frankie Manning. This simple, yet fun routine is beloved by Lindy Hoppers across the world and is the perfect entry-level jazz routine for new dancers looking to dip their toes in the waters of solo jazz. Purchase tickets online.


8. SHELF LIFE—FELON: A READING & CONVERSATION WITH REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS
Literary Art
February 4, 12pm
Online

felon

Poet Reginald Dwayne Betts discusses his latest collection, Felon, in a reading and conversation with Amy Woolard, including a contemplation of civic participation accessible to those who have been incarcerated. These stories are extraordinarily personal to Betts. Betts himself served nine years in adult prison, and came out the other end; he went back to school, started a family, and ultimately was accepted to and graduated from Yale Law School. Presented by Virginia Festival of the Book. You must register for this free event.


9. KRAPP'S LAST TAPE
Theatre
February 4-20, times vary
Online and at Firehouse Theatre, 1609 W. Broad Street, Richmond, 23220
$35/in person, $25/live-stream

Krapps Last Tape

On the occasion of his 69th birthday, Krapp enacts his annual ritual of listening to a tape that he recorded on a previous birthday as a prelude to recording an assessment of his present state of affairs, including everything you'd expect from playwright Samuel Beckett -- poetry, heavy drinking, puns, bananas, and inexplicable beauty. Produced by Firehouse Theatre, the show will offer severely limited seating capacity of a maximum of 10 audience members per performance, as well as other safety protocols. Select performances will be live-streamed. Purchase tickets online.


10. GARDEN VALENTINES
Visual Art
February 2, 3pm
Online
$21/members, $25/non-members

Garden Valentine

Send your love this season with original cards handmade by you during this step-by-step virtual class offered by Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Collage, draw, paint and stamp floral garden valentines. Start collecting image and text ideas now. Pre-registration required.


If you are an arts or cultural organization with social-distance-safe events such as online classes, virtual exhibitions or concerts, or even book readings, submit your events to Artsline here.  If you are an artist or an arts or cultural organization in need of resources and tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out the list of local and national resources from Richmond CultureWorks.