The Contemporary Arts Network (CAN), in Newport News, presents Black Spirituals, a collaborative installation, story and concept album written, composed and directed by The Tunny Crew.
The Tunny Crew is a musical collaboration composed of CAN Co-founders and Co-directors Asa Jackson, Hampton Boyer and CAN Music Director Travis Sykes. As a generative project, it takes several forms as executive produced by Kimberly Selden and team. The first is a five-act play and exhibition debuting on the first floor of the Contemporary Arts Network on Jan. 23.
The project embodies a new school of artistic transcenance, where artists allow creativity to transcend traditional mediums in the creation of a work.
Black Spirituals, the play and exhibition, includes the work of The CAN Foundation’s First Patron artists in residence Mahari Chabwera, Asa Jackson, Adewale Alli, Hampton Boyer, and Nastassja Swift, and CAN Artists Dathan Kane and Alex Michael. The exhibit will be open for walkthroughs for groups of five (ages 18 and up) beginning Jan. 23 and running each Saturday through the end of Black History month.
Visitors may also purchase tickets to tour the exhibit on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of February. Tickets for the theatrical experience will be available for purchase at thecontemporaryartsnetwork.com.
Black Spirituals is an emancipated Negro Spiritual. Kin to Negro Spirituals, Black Spirituals is grounded in the oral traditions of story-telling and song. As a multi-form performance, it both honors the legacy of Negro Spirituals by ferrying Black stories, and radicalizes the sorrow song genre by insisting on lush lives full of Black individuation. Individuation is the natural process of our personal and collective unconsciousness being brought into our awareness through dreams, active imagining, or art making.
As a theatrical installation, Black Spirituals follows the story of four teenagers coming of age. The audience experiences the narrative as an immersive walkthrough into alternative dimensions the teens navigate due to the choices they make, and temptations they follow. Black Spirituals renders what happens when we journey through a Black American life towards consciousness, ducking and striving.
Throughout the six-week exhibition, the Contemporary Arts Network and creators of Black Spirituals will host discussions and focus groups exploring these topics further.
This project will also be shared as an original motion picture and is the first full length album produced at the CAN headquarters. For questions or information about sponsorship, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forthcoming release dates for the Black Spirituals album and movie will be shared on thecontemporaryartsnetworks.com.
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