- Igmar Thomas’ Revive Big Band,led by the former band leader for Lauryn Hill and Nas, returns to the Kennedy Center’s Studio K for two performances on Friday, Feb. 24. This multigenerational ensemble performs music from Black American culture combining jazz, hip-hop, funk, soul, blues and gospel. Joined by singer and composer Bilal, the Revive Big Band brings new music from a forthcoming debut album. More information is on the Kennedy Center website www.kennedy-center.org
- “The Utopia Project: Inspiration for Creative Activism,” now at the Anacostia Community Museum (ACM), will close on March 1. Based on individual experiences, this interactive exhibition asks visitors to imagine their utopia inside an immersive “Dream Space.” Objects, photos, and stories from the ACM collection are featured throughout the gallery, turning abstract ideas into real-world examples of communities making a difference. This project was created in collaboration with The Center for Artistic Activism. ACM is located at 1901 Fort Place SE, Washington, D.C. 20020, and is open daily, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit the website for more information. https://anacostia.si.edu
- Phillips@THEARC presents the work of photographer Dee Dwyer in “Wild Seeds of the Soufside.” A proud southeast D.C. native, Dwyer has been hailed as “The Visual Voice for the People.” Her black-and-white photography is compelling, showing kids to adults living their everyday lives in Southeast. The exhibition’s concept was inspired by the book “Wild Seed” by Octavia E. Butler. On her website, Dwyer says, “Art, to me, is ‘Life.’ I use photography as a form of art. It is a way to stop time and reflect on a moment that can possibly shift history going forward.” This exhibition will be on view at Phillips@THEARC, 1801 Mississippi Ave. SE, Washington, D.C., until May 11. Museum hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) presents “Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience.” Visitors will see how visual art has been used in protest, commentary, escape and perspective for African Americans. This exhibition includes stories of injustice, resistance and courage. “Reckoning” attempts to open the door to understanding how artists and photographers have used their creativity to pay tribute to those we have lost. Some names lifted through this exhibition are Eric Garner, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The journey in this exhibition goes from defiance to resilience to grief, mourning, hope and change. “Reckoning” is on view at Smithsonian NMAAHC until April 1.
- A celebration of Black talent and productions on Broadway will premiere on PBS, Tuesday, Feb. 28. “Black Broadway: A Proud History, A Limitless Future.” This concert special salutes iconic musicals performed by a group of top musical theater talent. Musical theater actors on this national television show include D.C.’s own Nova Payton singing “I’m Here” from “The Color Purple,” a show in which she starred at Signature Theatre in suburban Virginia. Also featured on “Black Broadway” will be Norm Lewis, who was recently in “A Soldier’s Play” at the Kennedy Center. Lewis, an Emmy, Tony, and SAG Award nominee, will sing “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’” from “Porgy and Bess” and “Waiting For Life” from “Once On This Island.” Stephanie Mills, who played Dorothy in the original Broadway run of “The Wiz,” will sing her showstopper hit “Home.”
The Howard University and Morgan State University Choirs will perform in “Black Broadway.” Guest conductors are Dr. Eric Conway from Morgan State University, Brittany Chanell Johnson and Dr. Eric Poole from Howard University, and Sean Mayes from Broadway’s “Hadestown” and “Michael Jackson: the Musical.” All are accompanied by the American Pops Orchestra, founded by Music Director Luke Frazier, who has produced several concerts that have aired on PBS. “Black Broadway” was filmed at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium.
Check television listings for the local PBS station airing this show on Feb. 28. See a preview video at https://youtu.be/HmWeZU6x5-w.
- The 54th annual NAACP Image Awards will air live on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. on BET. This will be the first broadcast in three years with a live audience. Awards are given for achievements in motion pictures, television, music, literature, podcasts, and social media. There are more than 70 award categories for this year’s NAACP Image Awards. In addition to the live broadcast, NAACP will also recognize winners virtually in non-televised Image Awards categories from Feb. 20-23 on www.naacpimageawards.net.
Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) will be honored with the prestigious NAACP Chairman’s Award. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump will receive the Social Justice Impact Award, and Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade will be honored with the President’s Award for their work in public service.
The Image Awards were established in 1967 to honor outstanding Black actors, actresses, writers, producers and directors, while also recognizing those working in Hollywood who supported those artists. The first Image Awards ceremony was by activists Maggie Hathaway, Sammy Davis Jr. and Willis Edwards, all leaders of the Beverly Hills-Hollywood NAACP branch.