February 1-5, 2022
New World Center
500 17th Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139
The New World Symphony and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas present I Dream a World: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond, a multi-disciplinary, multi-tiered festival that aims to celebrate the history and influence of this cultural movement. This festival of orchestral music, talks, recitals, poetry readings, and chamber music is led by Michael Tilson Thomas in collaboration with musicologist Dr. Tammy Kernodle. Collaborators include pianist Michelle Cann, poet P. Scott Cunningham, conductor Thomas Wilkins, and poet Kevin Young. The festival also features an exhibition curated by Christopher Norwood, a special presentation from The Wolfsonian/FIU, and a screening of the film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom presented by the American Black Film Festival.
A spokesperson for the festival says, “The Harlem Renaissance helped to establish the authority of Black artists over the representation of Black culture and experience and set the stage for contemporary Black artists shaping American culture. The I Dream a World festival seeks to capture and celebrate this legacy.”
Festival organizers describe the events as follows:
A series of single-day intensive workshops to students at five Miami- Dade schools, from elementary to high school levels is presented by O, Miami. The workshops are led by artists and focus on the importance of song in Black American poetry, beginning with poems from the Harlem Renaissance, and tracing forward to contemporary Black poets’ work in the ode form. On February 1st, the same teaching artists present their own poetry and selected students’ works at a reading preceding Kevin Young's appearance at New World Symphony.
Exhibition: Interludes of Harlem: Poetic Illustrations of Langston Hughes featuring Jacob Lawrence
Christopher Norwood curates an exhibition of art which contextualizes the Harlem Renaissance and the American Great Migration that ushered in the first Black arts movement. This exhibition will be on display at the New World Center throughout the festival.
Noir Reverberations: A Night of the Music and Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond
February 1, 2022, 6:30 PM
Poet Kevin Young and Dr. Tammy Kernodle explore topics and themes of the Harlem Renaissance through poetry and music. The Ambassador Chorale of Florida Memorial University will join the New World Symphony to perform choral settings of works by William Dawson and Moses Hogan as well as traditional gospel songs. The performances are preceded by a 60- minute poetry reading by Miami-based poets and students.
A Handful of Keys: A Retrospective of American Keyboard Music
Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 7:30 PM
The performance will feature works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Florence Price, Jelly Roll Morton, Hazel Scott, Irene Britton Smith, Fats Waller, Helen Eugenia Hagan, and Mary Lou Williams. This project also includes the launch of a website, 36 Keys, which augments selections from the concert with other recorded performances of piano-centric music of Black composers.
Inside the Music: Echoes of the Harlem Renaissance
Thursday, February 3, 2022, at 7:00 PM
New World Symphony Fellows present a multidisciplinary chamber program connecting the Harlem Renaissance to today.
American Black Film Festival Presents Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Friday, February 4, 2022, at 7:30 PM
The American Black Film Festival presents a screening of Netflix’s award-winning film starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman about a fiery blues singer who joins her band for a turbulent recording session in 1920s Chicago.
Victory Stride: The Orchestral Legacy of the Harlem Renaissance
Saturday, February 5, 2022, at 7:30 PM (Performance Hall, WALLCAST® to SoundScape Park, and streamed live on NWS.edu)
Michael Tilson Thomas and Thomas Wilkins lead the New World Symphony in a performance of orchestra and chamber music by the composers of the Harlem Renaissance. This concert is preceded by a talk curated by FIU Professors Shawn Anthony Christian and Nathaniel Cadle. This presentation—drawn from books, magazines, photographs, and ephemera— aims to explore how authors and visual and performing artists created a vision of Black modernity that extended beyond New York to become a national and global movement.