“4 LITTLE GIRLS” CELEBRATES THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

WITH FILM, MUSIC, AND AFRICAN DANCE

BY EDGE SCHOOL OF THE ARTS DANCERS,

AND A SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY

BROADWAY TAP DANCER OMAR EDWARDS  

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2PM

The performance recants the 1963 Atlanta church bombing

with references to today’s Black Lives Matter movement

Dancers from the Edge School of the Arts performing 4 Little Girls: Moving Portraits of the American Civil Rights Movement at the Parrish Art Museum, 2019. Photo: Tom Kochie

The Parrish Art Museum presents a special Saturday Family program: a  screening of 4 Little Girls: Moving Portraits of the American Civil Rights Movement, accompanied by a live dance performance with 30 members of the Edge School of the Arts (ESOTA) on Saturday, February 22 at 2pm. The celebratory event will also feature tap dancer Omar Edwards, whose credits includeBring In Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk on Broadway and the international tour of Black and Blue. Following the performance, ESOTA Artistic Director Kerri Edge, Edwards, and several performers, including Edwards’s Youth Ensemble A-Tone-Meant, will participate in a conversation with the audience.

The immersive program is presented in collaboration with ESOTA and co-presented with the Hamptons United Methodist Church (UMC) to recognize Black History month at the Museum. The performance is free for Parrish Members, children, students, and Hamptons UMC Members; and for adults with Museum admission. Reservations are recommended.   

“I am delighted to bring back Kerri Edge and her wonderful dancers with the exciting addition of Omar Edwards, and to partner again with Hamptons United Methodist Church to present this incredibly moving and cathartic performance at the Parrish. Now more than ever do we need artistic acts of resistance to counter horrific acts of hatred and racism,” said Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects.

4 Little Girls: Moving Portraits of the American Civil Rights Movement is an experimental narrative film that infuses historical authenticity and contemporary dance movements (tap, modern dance, hip hop, ballet, and African) to recant the tragic story of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley—the young black girls who were killed when the Ku Klux Klan exploded a bomb in the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. During the 45-minute performance, the story unfolds on screen and on stage through imaginative interpretations inspired by 1960s protest songs and spoken word and references the killing of innocent black citizens in recent history. Performing arts students from ESOTA in Queens, NY, will move throughout the Museum’s Lichtenstein Theater—through the aisles and in front of the screen—creating an immersive audience experience.

The program was conceived by Edge, who challenged her students to revisit history and recreate the moments leading up to what Martin Luther King Jr. described as, “one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.”  An artivist who uses dance and film as vehicles to shed light on issues of social injustice and commemorate the achievements of African Americans, Edge’s mission at ESOTA is to bring the art and discipline of African American dance to young aspiring artists, the community, and international audiences. 

4 Little Girls: Moving Portraits of the American Civil Rights Movement is supported by Queens Council on the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs through awards made by Council Members Adrienne Adams (28th District), I. Daneek Miller (27th District), and Donovan Richards (31st District) The performance is co-presented with the Hamptons United Methodist Church with support from the Jerome Foundation for Jerome Artist Fellow, Kerri Edge.

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Parrish Art Museum

Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in-residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.

www.parrishart.org

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Parrish Art Museum Construction Photographs © Jeff Heatley.

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