WMU News

Show focuses on art as an agent of social justice

Oct. 24, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Vocalist, violinist, composer and curator Dr. Terry Jenoure will present "Navigators: A Performance Collage," at Western Michigan University at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in Room 2303 of Sangren Hall.

The two-hour presentation is based on her recently-released book, "Navigators: African American Musicians, Dancers, and Visual Artists in Academe," which examines the stories of 12 artists who teach at traditionally white colleges and universities. The collage relays their experiences through taped and live vocal and instrumental music, spoken word, movement and visual imagery. It is free and open to the public.

"This performance should be of interest to artists, educators and anyone interested in exploring how the arts may be used to promote dialogue about social justice issues in schools and society," says Morna McDermott, an instructor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, which is sponsoring the event.

Jenoure is at work on a textbook that focuses on providing tools for the sociocultural and artistic development of pre-service and in-service teacher. "Navigators," her first effort, garnered praise in book reviews last year for documenting experiences that are often ignored in higher education, and for offering lessons "not only about teaching and learning, but also about artistry, humanity and determination."

"The collage brings a new dimension to the voices of African American artists teaching in academe," Jenoure says. "What was it like for them to teach the arts in higher education? What is the context of their life that led to their work? What meaning did they make of their teaching? These are some of the questions which constitute the core of the performance."

Jenoure teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she is the coordinating director of Multicultural Programs at the Fine Arts Center and serves as director of the Augusta Savage Gallery, named for the renowned Harlem Renaissance sculptor. The gallery promotes the contributions of student, local, and nationally acclaimed artists of color from diverse world cultures. The Bronx, N.Y. native is also a jazz improvisation performer and has led her own ensembles in Europe, North and South America, Africa, and the Middle East. She also teaches at the Graduate School of Arts and Science, Creative Arts in Learning Program at Lesley College in Cambridge.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 616 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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