Without a doubt, artistic production has served as a major means by which individuals and communities have presented their cultural worlds, critiqued those worlds, and worked to enhance and improve those worlds. Houston serves as a major location for this type of activity. Motivated by the rich social-cultural geography that is this city, Houston is a hub of important artistic work that speaks directly to some of the important concerns that define CERCL. Mindful of this CERCL has collaborated with local artists and has brought to Houston and Rice outstanding and important contributors to the artistic traditions defining the United States.
The Artist-in-Residence Program is meant to further enhance CERCL's collaboration with and presentation of the arts. The goal is to represent the manner in which the arts serve as tools for and representations of critical thinking on pressing concerns, effective communications strategies for expressing those concerns, and platforms for engaging those concerns.
This program is for scholars whose research presents and promotes innovative scholarship related to the study of race and religion. In this way, CERCL aims to help advance the success of scholarship often considered marginal to the Academy.
Our first Artist-in-Residence for the 2019-2020 academic year is Harrison Guy, the Artistic Director of Urban Souls Dance Company (USDC), an award winning company that's treading new ground and making its voice heard throughout the community and nationally.
The residency entails a yearlong relationship with CERCL during which the artist will choreograph two original dance performances that take into consideration the mission of CERCL and Artist-in-Residence initiative. The project is entitled Black Bodies in White Spaces: A performance ritual on truth and atonement. A community event will commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the first slave ships that landed in Jamestown in 1619. The university iteration acknowledges the experiences of black bodies in the history of the University.
We look forward to sharing more about this exciting initiative soon!
photo by Ashkan Roayaee