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Livestreamed on this page Wednesday 20 September 2023 at 8:15 a.m. - 9 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles, UTC -7) / 9:15 a.m. - 10 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -6) / 11:15 a.m. - 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 4:15 p.m. - 5 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1).

Boston, Massachusetts
Wednesday 20 September 2023

Black and Indigenous Histories to the Now: How We Carry Our Past into the Present

Wednesday 20 September 2023

ArtsEmerson, HowlRound, and participants in the Black and Indigenous Futures Convening met on Wednesday 20 September from 11:15 a.m. - 12:00pm EDT (Boston, UTC -4) for a discussion that explored foundations of Black and Indigenous co-leadership solidarity, shared understanding, and movement building. This conversation was moderated by Ronee Penoi and featured Scott Alves Barton, Elizabeth James-Perry, and Kyle T. Mays.

This event was part of the Black and Indigenous Futures Convening, which brings together artists, scholars, educators, and practitioners to unearth history, examine fault lines, and imagine new and different futures. This gathering, produced by ArtsEmerson in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons, was one piece of a larger ArtsEmerson initiative that seeks to activate a liberated future in Boston through the shared experience of art and public dialogue. This convening is supported by the Barr Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Panelists

Scott Alves Barton (he/him/his) is a cultural anthropologist of African diaspora foodways at University of Notre Dame, and he previously was an executive chef for over twenty-five years. Scott’s research focuses on diasporic women’s work and knowledge, intergenerational teaching/learning, cultural heritage, and political resistance in northeastern Brazil. Scott is a public scholar at Lynden Sculpture Garden. He serves as co-chair of the African Diaspora Religions Unit in the American Academy of Religion, a trustee of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, a board member of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, and an advisory board member to Indigo Arts Alliance. His forthcoming manuscript, Reckoning with Violence and Black Death follows his exhibition on anti-Black violence, funerary foods, and ancestrality, Buried in the Heart.

Elizabeth James-Perry (she/her) practices wampum jewelry design and restorative gardening in her Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal homelands in Massachusetts. She teaches art and responsible land stewardship to stay grounded and to benefit the next seven generations.

Kyle T. Mays (he/him) is an Afro-Indigenous (Saginaw Chippewa) scholar of urban studies, Afro-Indigenous studies, and contemporary popular culture. He is the author of three books, including City of Dispossessions: Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, and the Creation of Modern Detroit (2022) and An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States (2021).

About the Moderator

Ronee Penoi (she/her/hers) (Laguna Pueblo/Cherokee) is director of artistic programming at ArtsEmerson, Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre. Previously, she was a producer with Octopus Theatricals, where she advanced the work of Cherokee artist DeLanna Studi (And So We Walked), Phantom Limb Company (Falling Out), Ripe Time (Sleep), Homer’s Coat (An Iliad by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson), Theatre for One, and more. Ronee has received the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Individual Artist Fellowship twice, a Sundance Institute Interdisciplinary Program Grant, and commissions from Baltimore Center Stage and Pittsburgh Public Theater for her musical composing work with collaborator Annalisa Dias. Previously, Ronee was the National New Play Network Producer in Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and senior producing fellow and directing fellow at Arena Stage, and she toured nationally with Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy. Her current anti-racism practice builds upon a decolonization framework and embraces systems change as a key component of that work. She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in Music and certificates in Vocal Performance and Theatre and Dance. She has been invited to guest lecture on producing at Princeton University, CalArts, and Howard University, as well as American University’s graduate program in arts administration.

About ArtsEmerson

ArtsEmerson is the professional presenting and producing organization at Emerson College based in the heart of downtown Boston. Founded in 2010—the year the United States Census confirmed there was no single cultural majority in Boston—we set out to foster positive change in this historically segregated city. ArtsEmerson aims to tear down traditional cultural divisions and connect people across difference. In addition to presenting work on stage and screen, ArtsEmerson seeks to advance civic discourse in our city by producing impactful opportunities for conversation and connection.

About HowlRound

HowlRound is a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive and disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners. HowlRound functions as a knowledge commons, a social structure that invites open participation around shared values. HowlRound regularly produces convenings that bring folx together around critical field issues.

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing-arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and develop our knowledge commons collectively. Anyone can participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected] or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal. View the video archive of past events.

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