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Explore ‘Facing Race Together’ at Richland Library

A new exhibit explores the meaning of inclusion and racial equity in our community through the eyes of local artists. Facing Race Together goes on display Thursday, March 5 in The Gallery at Richland Library. The exhibit features nine artists: JoAnn Borovicka; Charles Eady; Kanae Goji; Lori Starnes Isom; Rachelle Kobilarov; Roxana Sinex; Amanda Ladymon Stockard; Keith Tolen, and Sabrina White. Overall, there are 20 pieces, which emphasize the artists' experiences of living in the minority or facing metaphorical and literal barriers of living in the South. They range from acrylic, silkscreens and textiles to wood, mixed-media and a three-dimensional installation. Join us for an opening reception later that evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at our Main location (1431 Assembly St.) to meet and interact with the artists. The program, which is free and open to the public, includes food from A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen and live painting from two of the artists, Isom and Tolen. Facing Race Together opens in conjunction with the Together SC Summit, and the exhibit runs through Friday, May 1.


About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

‘Toning down’ stereotypes in ballet

A story appeared yesterday in The New York Times about New York City Ballet modifying its production of Balanchine's The Nutcracker to do away with "yellowface" – stereotypical portrayals of Asian people. [caption id="attachment_23732" align="alignright" width="200"] Columbia Classical Ballet's presentation of "The Nutcracker" in 2015. (Provided photo)[/caption]

Last year, New York City Ballet modified the choreography, costumes and makeup. And, just last month, the Balanchine Trust, which owns the rights to Balanchine’s work, notified other ballet companies that the changes were an approved option, though not required.

With Nutcracker season upon us (several open on Thanksgiving weekend and the rate accelerates into December), The Hub thought it was an interesting topic to share with our readers, especially in light of the controversial comments made by Megyn Kelly before her departure from NBC last month.

These adjustments are part of a broader effort to re-examine how people of color are portrayed in the performing arts and how classics with potentially troubling aspects can be made acceptable to modern audiences. In 2015, the Metropolitan Opera eliminated blackface from its “Otello.” The Bolshoi has toned down a segment of its “La Bayadère” featuring white children in blackface, but it has been criticized for not going far enough. And more recent fare has also been revised: The musical “Cats” dropped a song in which characters sang in Asian accents.

You can read the full story here. These are hot-button topics everywhere, but it is certainly relevant to the S.C. Arts Commission, where our legislative charge is "to create a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their place or circumstance. Diversity, inclusion, and access are critical components of that charge.