Each year, Dayton Live’s Education & Engagement team offers one or more in-depth education projects at no charge to participants. Each project is designed with a particular performance and/or theme in mind so the experience has a lasting effect on the community.
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Visual Voices 2020
2020 Dayton Skyscrapers , featured the work of Abner Cope, Shon Curtis, Dwayne Daniel, Clifford Darrett, Gregg DeGroat, Horace Dozier, Lois Fortson Kirk, Al Harden, Morris Howard, James Pate, Frances Turner, Andrea Walker-Cummings, and Yvette Walker Dalton, all of whom are African-American visual artists from the Miami Valley. The exhibit, reflected the broad and diverse career fields of African-Americans in the Dayton and Miami Valley region: Dave Chappelle, Norris Cole, Matilda Dunbar, Nozipo Glenn, Julia B. Ragland Green, Dorian Harewood, John Legend, Edythe Lewis, Johnny Dillard Lytle, Jeffrey Mims, Sylvia Jeanne Pate, Ty A. Stone, Mary Lou Tucker, Dr. John Thomas Webb, and Michael L. Wright.
1. Skyscraper Legend (John Legend) by Abner Cope
2. Chest Up, Stomach In (Nozipo Glenn) by Shon Curtis
3. From Juvenile To Roses (Julia B. Ragland Green) by Andrea Walker-Cummings
4. Jeffery Mims by Frances Turner
5. Dr. John Thomas Webb by Lois Fortson Kirk
Visual Voices 2019
2019 Dayton Skyscrapers – A Celebration Of Local African-American High Achievers, featured the work of Abner Cope; Dwayne Daniel; Clifford Darrett; Willis Bing Davis; Horace Dozier; Al Harden; Kevin Harris; Morris Howard; James Pate; Debra Richardson-Wood; Craig Screven; Frances Turner; and Andrea Walker-Cummings, all of whom are African-American visual artists from the Miami Valley. The exhibit, reflected the broad and diverse career fields of African-Americans in the Dayton and Miami Valley region: Judge Arthur O. Fisher; Judge Gerald Parker; Judge Alice O. Mccollum; Dr. Karen Townsend, small business woman; Edward Dugger, engineer; Phyllis Bolds, physicist; Colonel Alphonso Trimble, military; Dr. Clarence Walls, arts administrator; Lelia I. Frances, community activist; Dr. Helen Octavia Dickens, medical; Jewelia Higgins, community activist; Terrelia Ogletree, community service; and Marlon Shackelford, community activist.
1. Judge Gerald Parker by Morris Howard
2. This Is Where I Stand (Terrelia Ogletree) by Frances Turner
3. Judge Alice O. McCollum by Horace Dozier
4. Colonel Alphonso Trimble by Al Harden
5. Mondays At The Booth (Jewelia Ann Galloway Higgins) by Andrea Walker-Cummings
Visual Voices 2018
As the city of Dayton joined the nation in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Visual Voices 2018: King/Dunbar Project was designed to celebrate the life and work of Dr. King through the literary voice of Dayton poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar. Artists featured in the exhibit included Abner Cope, Yvette Walker Dalton, Dwayne Daniel, Clifford Darrett, Derrick Davis, Willis “Bing” Davis, Horace Dozier, Lois Fortson-Kirk, Al Harden, Kevin Harris, Morris Howard, James Pate, and Craig Screven.
1. Civil Rights Sermon In An Ante Bellum Church by Abner Cope
2. This Old house by Al Harden
3. He Had His Dream by Morris Howard
4. Why Fades A Dream by Clifford Darrett
5. Life by Horace Dozier
One Small Voice: Women Who Rock
Inspired by Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, One Small Voice: Women Who Rock helped 21 aspiring female singer-songwriters in the Dayton region find and use their musical voices as a creative force in the world. Selected participants completed a month-long boot camp experience which immersed them in the music industry, culminating in the creation of a signature song which participants both professionally recorded and shared live. Listen to their original music at soundcloud.com/daytonlive.
Visual Voices 2017
Dayton Skyscrapers 10th Anniversary celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Dayton Skyscrapers Art Exhibit project at the Schuster Center. Emerging to mid-career African-American visual artists from the Miami Valley researched prominent African-American’s (living or deceased) who have made a mark in their field and are role models for the community. The artists then wrote an essay about their life and work and featured the “skyscraper” in an original work of art that was displayed in a professional gallery exhibition. Artists featured in the exhibit included Abner Cope, Andrea Walker Cummings, Yvette Walker Dalton, Clifford Darrett, Dwayne Daniel, Willis “Bing” Davis, Lois Fortson, Kevin Harris, Morris Howard, James Pate, Craig Screven, and Frances Turner.
1. What Goes Around, Comes Around (Ethel & Exine Prear) by Frances Turner
2. Too Suave To Be A Lion #2 (Ted Ross Roberts) by Yvette Walker-Dalton
3. The Golden 12 Connection (George Clinton Cooper) by Clifford Darrett
4. Too Suave To Be A Lion #1 (Ted Ross Roberts) by Yvette Walker-Dalton
5. Judge Russell Luther Carter by Abner Cope
Motown Music Project
Although many have come to recognize the “Motown Sound” as a brand in itself, Motown’s records encompassed many genres of music, from early rhythm and blues to soul, funk and pop. A company brochure published in the early 1960s details Motown’s goal to “satisfy a variety of preferences in popular music.” Diversity has always been a key component of the Motown legacy.
In March 2017, to celebrate the rich musical tradition and diversity of the “Motown Sound,” VTA’s (now Dayton Live) Education & Engagement Department began the Motown Music Project. The Motown Music Project was a four-week music education program created for area students to learn about the tradition of Motown and to provide them with an opportunity to perform at the Schuster Center before attending the Saturday matinee performance of Mowtown The Musical.
Visual Voices 2016
Visual Voices 2016: BLACK LIFE as subject MATTER reflected the broad and diverse range of African-American life through the eyes of emerging and mid-career African-American visual artists from the Dayton and Miami Valley region. The 2016 exhibit featured the work of 16 local African-American visual artists and a recent Dayton Public School graduate. The exhibit provided opportunities for the Dayton and Miami Valley region to share, celebrate, and honor the importance of Black life. The BLACK LIFE as subject MATTER art exhibit was curated by Willis “Bing” Davis with assistance from fellow Dayton artists Dwayne Daniel, Derrick Davis, and James Pate and featured Francine Bankston, Andrea Walker-Cummings, Dwayne Daniel, Clifford Darrett, Derrick Davis, Willis “Bing” Davis, Al Harden, Kevin Harris, Morris Howard, Carolyn Moore, Robert Parkey III, James Pate, Craig Screven, Chris Turner, and Frances Turner.
1. Playgrounds As Battlegrounds #1 by Willis Bing Davis
2. Mama & Dem by Carolyn Moore
3. The Pen by Kevin Harris
4. Family Reunion II by Clifford Darrett
5. Kenti Sprit #124 by Derrick Davis
Visual Voices 2015
Students from the Ponitz Career Technology Center (Dayton Public Schools) received specialized interview technique training and worked with the artists in that year’s Visual Voices 2015: Dayton Skyscrapers to record and edit interviews about their art. Hear their stories at soundcloud.com/daytonlive.
1. Ronita Hawes-Saunders by Frances Turner
2. Testify: Dottie Peoples by Erin Smith-Glenn
3. Letitia Perry by Gregg DeGroat
4. Billy Strayhorn by James Pate
5. Sharon Howard by Abner Cope
One of our 2014-2015 projects, Radio Waves: Race, Rhythm & Rock ‘N’ Roll, spotlights the power of radio as an instrument for social change. Working with several community partners including Fairmont Career Tech Center (Fairmont High School, Kettering Public Schools), independent radio producer Will Davis, and WYSO, Radio Waves used the Broadway tour of Memphis the Musical as a starting point to explore the rise of race music on the radio waves in the 1950s and its influence on rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk, and ultimately, the Civil Rights Movement in the Miami Valley. Hear Fairmont Career Tech Center student’s Radio Waves stories at soundcloud.com/daytonlive.
Visual Voices 2014
Featuring a concert with the Ohio Players, Visual Voices 2014: Visions Of Dayton Funk challenged artists to create visual art that captures the essence and flavor of the Dayton funk sound. Students from the Ponitz Career Technology Center (Dayton Public Schools) trained with WYSO 91.3FM Community Voices radio project to record and edit interviews with the artists, musicians and others about the artists’ creative process and to provide a historical perspective on the Dayton funk movement. Hear their stories at soundcloud.com/daytonlive.
1. The Creation Of Pain by James Pate
2. Heaven by Yvette Walker-Dalton
3. Love Rollercoaster by Yvette Walker-Dalton
4. Kente Funk #125: Computer Love by Derrick Davis
5. Varee Is Love by Gregg DeGroat
Guitars: A Bridge To Broadway
Guitars: A Bridge to Broadway was created to bring together a burgeoning population of guitar enthusiasts, amateur and professional musicians, and Johnny Cash fans by using Million Dollar Quartet as the keystone to celebrate the guitar’s influence on Dayton’s strong musical roots. The four iconic figures of music in Million Dollar Quartet – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins – made their mark on American music. In turn, Million Dollar Quartet provided a unique avenue for Victoria Theatre Association (now Dayton Live) to excite and engage community members who would otherwise not attend a Broadway performance.
Superhero Girls Like Me
In a study conducted by Girls, Inc., an astounding 60 percent of girls said they “experience stereotypes that limit their right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes.” That issue and others like it were explored in February 2016 in VTA’s (now Dayton Live) education project, Superhero Girls Like Me, with students from Charity Adams Earley Academy for Girls. Superhero Girls Like Me created a correlation between today’s world through which young girls are navigating, the inspiring, historical women in the Dayton area, and the fantasy world of Cinderella where young women are traditionally seen stereotypically. Led by professional teaching artists, these young women devised and presented their own performance based on their experiences and personal views about how they fit into the world around them. The goal of this project was to inspire the girls of Charity Adams Earley, and provide them a safe space to explore experiences and challenges with identity, body image, self-esteem, and leadership to develop a better understanding of their own potential.
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