651 ARTS
Dedicated to Performance of the African Diaspora
Dear Friend, 

651 ARTS 2010 performance season is upon us and we are honored and excited to be presenting a new live performance/interview series featuring artist-to-artist conversations between some of our favorite innovators in contemporary dance, theater, and music, including: choreographerRonald K. Brown; Bentonia, Mississippi bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes; choreographerRalph Lemon; South African composer Hugh Masekela; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage; poet/playwright/activist Sonia Sanchez; musician/performer Somi; and actress/writerApril Yvette Thompson.

Beginning on Tuesday, April 27 and running every Tuesday through May 18, 651 ARTS launches, LIVE AND OUTSPOKEN – 4 evenings of dynamic performance-infused conversations that celebrate the scope of work being made by artists of African descent today. 

With every evening staged in specially curated venues, each artist brings his/her unique vision and personality to the table. Through this juxtaposition of talk and performance, perspective and style, we gain insights into the methods, lives and artistry of some of the worlds’ most daring artists. Please join us for what will surely be 4 unforgettable evenings of conversation and live performance. 

Save these dates, space is limited!
Tickets go on sale March 1.



Tuesday, April 27
Award-winning choreographer Ralph Lemon interviews
Mississippi bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
In the home of Emmy Award-winning producer, Tom Fontana

Tuesday, May 4

Poet/playwright/activist Sonia Sanchez interviews
Choreographer Ron Brown
Mark Morris Dance Studio, Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 11
South African composer Hugh Masekela interviews
Musician/performer Somi
Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts,
at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus

Tuesday, May 18

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage interviews
actress/writer April Yvette Thompson
BRICstudio, Brooklyn
Photo of Ralph Lemon by Frank Oudeman | Photo of Jimmy "Duck" Holmes by Lou Bopp

Congrats to our board member, Gayle Haynes!
Gayle Haynes, provost of Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus since 1989 was named to The Network Journal’s 2010 list of “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” Congratulations, Gayle! Thank you for your guidance and leadership.
Click here to read more.


Jennylin Duany | Andrea Kalima

In January, the world lost an extraordinary artist, human being and dear friend, Jennylin Duany. Based in Miami, Jennylin was a treasured part of the 651 ARTS family. Through our Artists Development Initiative program, 651 ARTS was able to co-commission (along with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and DiverseWorks) Jennylin’s Cabaret Unkempt – a performance piece that explored women’s relationships to their bodies which she wrote, and performed with frequent performance partner, Elizabeth Doud. Cabaret Unkempt toured the United States and Central America, including a work-in-progress performance in Brooklyn as part of 651 ARTS’ Salon 651. Jennylin was slated to start a residency at MANCC to develop her next theater piece.Not only a dynamic and graceful performer, Jennylin was also the power behind education and residency programs for Miami Dade College's Cultura del Lobo program. Jennylin is survived by her 9-month old daughter, Aneliesse Duany Lastre and husband Ricardo Lastre, in addition to many loving friends, colleagues and family.

Click here to get a glimpse of  Cabaret Unkempt. www.jennylinduany.com
Photo of Jennylin Duany by David Whitman

In January, musician and singer, Andrea Kalima died suddenly in his home country, Tanzania. Andrea started singing when he was 10 years old, eventually joining his uncle – the legendary Dr. Hukwe Zawose and his family in keeping alive the traditions of theGogo people of Dodoma. He played multiple instruments, including the zeze, the mrimba, firimbi and the ndono. He performed in Kenya, Uganda, Japan, England, Holland, Italy, and Belgium. In 2008, Andrea was one of 11 artists who participated Eti! East Africa Speaks – a 2 week residency for east African artists and playwrights that culminated in 2 days of performance and panels presented at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center/CUNY, in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders, 651 ARTS and Dartmouth College. “I am shocked and deeply pained by this untimely loss. I am graced to have known Andrea and to have been touched by his shining talent and gentle spirit. The loss of this man is felt across the world,  but we all will continue to benefit forever from the beautiful contributions he has made to the world as an artist.” Georgiana Pickett, Executive Director, 651 ARTS.

Photo of Andrea Kalima by Kawakahi Amina


651 ARTS, a performing arts organization based in Brooklyn, New York, is dedicated to supporting and celebrating the multi-faceted work of contemporary performing artists of the African Diaspora. Please help 651 ARTS continue its work in these important times by making a donation.


When City Bites

The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival
February 19—24 

BAMcinématek presents the Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival, featuring award-winners and crowd favorites from the recent African Diaspora Film Festival. This series includes an astonishing variety of films from around the globe that reveal the diversity within the African Diaspora—this year’s selection features work from South Africa, Nigeria, Jamaica, Senegal, France, Egypt, Norway, and the US. 
For the full schedule and to purchase tickets, go here.


Dedicated to Performance of theAfrican Diaspora 

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