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Tuning Up: Senate confirms new NEA chair + Black music

Good morning! 

"Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...
Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson to head NEA. On Saturday, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Joe Biden's nominee to chair the National Endowment for the Arts. Jackson is a 2013 appointee to the National Council on the Arts and is a tenured Institute Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) at Arizona State University where she also holds an appointment in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. A full bio is here. S.C. art museums take up Black music:
  • In conjunction with its Romare Bearden: Abstraction exhibition, Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston is set to present Improvised: A Hip Hop Experience. "Many artists are influenced by the music of their time. In the case of the abstract expressionists of the mid 20th century that music was Jazz. Improvisational and expressive, it inspired Jackson Pollack and Romare Bearden alike. At the Gibbes, we see Hip Hop as an extension of that improvisational tradition and are excited to partner with on air personality Kris Kalyn to host Improvised: A Hip Hop Experience that will have local and emerging Hip Hop artists responding to works in Romare Bearden: Abstraction." Tickets are available now. $35. Student pricing available.
  • Later in the month, Columbia Museum of Art will launch of More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series, hosted by ethnomusicologist Dr. Birgitta Johnson on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, during the closing weekend of the 30 Americans exhibition. The series premieres (two additional dates are scheduled) with a sampling of diverse sacred choral textures that exist in the Black sacred music tradition. "Black music represents one of the oldest and broadest rivers that pours into America’s sonic ocean. Whether it be in pop or rock, classical or hip-hop, the history that the music of Black Americans affirms is key to its enduring popularity and influence across lines of race, gender, age, class, and even language," per a release.
The Hub is pleased to see leading arts institutions offering inclusive programming that further validates why they are both recipients of the Governor's Award for the Arts.

Jason Rapp