(NEW ORLEANS, LA – February 7, 2020) – With a commitment towards fostering the artistic expression of emerging creators, the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans is proud to announce its Spring 2020 season featuring an evocative presentation of music, dance, and performances by leading artists, including Dance for Social Change, a community collaboration with Dancing Grounds; the return of Aurora Nealand and Goat in the Road’s KindHumanKind; the Afro-Cuban Jazz rhythms of Daymé Arocena; and the expressive dance movements of Kyle Abraham’s Company, A.I.M (Abraham.In.Motion).
“Our Spring 2020 season shines the spotlight on important young artists who are attracting significant attention in their respective artistic disciplines by presenting thought-provoking work that sparks dialogue,” states Laurie Uprichard, Director and Curator of Performing Arts at the CAC. The 2020 Spring Performing Arts Season begins with New Orleans-based Dancing Grounds’ sixth-annual Dance for Social Change Festival on Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th, 2020. Dancing Grounds’ teen dance company, DG Uprising, will premiere an original performance about gentrification and displacement. The new piece, entitled Solastalgia, combines dance, poetry, music, and theater to examine gentrification’s impact on the city and to reimagine a more equitable future. With pre-performance workshops and post-performance discussions, a group of 25 young artists will educate audiences, spark critical conversations, and inspire collective action. Dance for Social Change is part of the CAC’s ongoing Community Collaborations series, in which New Orleans-based arts organizations are featured and provided with performance support. Tickets are on sale: Youth Ticket: $5, Students/Seniors: $15, CAC Members: $25 , General Admission: $30. Tickets and information at cacno.org
By popular demand, the CAC will partner once again with Aurora Nealand and Goat in the Road to reprise KindHumanKind in the CAC's Camp Street Warehouse on Wednesday, April 8th through Saturday April 11th, Wednesday April 15th and Friday, April 17th. Over a three-year period of traveling, deaths, and births, Aurora Nealand wrote and recorded the music for KindHumanKind as a solo project. The work has expanded into an intimate and theatrical extension under the unique design and direction of Goat in the Road, which debuted to great acclaim at the CAC in 2019. KindHumanKind, the live performance, presents a visual world that showcases Ms. Nealand’s unique talents as a storyteller and musician, and brings to life her virtuosic, heartbreaking musical soundscape. The performance features Ms. Nealand with New Orleans musicians free feral (Leyla McCalla Band, Sing River Shout: a ritual in reparations), Tiffany Lamson (The Givers), and Alexis Marceaux (Sweet Crude). Aurora Nealand is a sound artist and multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, accordion, voice) based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2004. She is the founder and leader of non-traditional traditional jazz band The Royal Roses, which draws its approach from collective improvisation. Tickets are on sale: CAC Members: $20, General Admission: $25. Tickets and information at cacno.org.
During the Spring music festival season, the CAC is proud to present Cuban-born musician Daymé Arocena on Saturday, May 2nd, at 9pm for one show only. With captivating charisma and a radiant spirit, Arocena effortlessly blends traditional Santerían chant, jazz stylings, contemporary R&B influences, and Afro-Cuban rhythmic complexity for audiences worldwide. Her passion for the musical traditions of Cuba is boundless. Born and raised in Havana, her conservatoire training was combined with an upbringing grounded in Cuba’s own musical foundations. Accepted at age nine into one of the country’s most prestigious music schools, she studied choir directing rooted in Western classical tradition. Meanwhile, she grew up with folkloric music that’s common to most Cuban households. Dancing and singing are the gatherings’ mainstays in celebrating the island’s Santería religion. Daymé presents these deep-rooted traditions in a wider musical context. Tickets are on sale now: CAC Members: $25, General Admission: $30. Tickets and information at cacno.org
The CAC is thrilled to welcome the highly-acclaimed dance company Kyle Abraham / A.I.M. (Abraham in Motion) to the CAC, Friday, May 8th and Saturday May 9th, 2020, at 7:30pm. Abraham is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and a 2016 Doris Duke Awardee who began his dance training in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before receiving his BFA from Purchase College and his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the "best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama". He has recently been featured in both Kinfolk and O, The Oprah Magazine, and was the recipient of the 2018 Princess Grace Statue Award recipient and Lincoln Center Education Artist in Residence. The mission of A.I.M is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into hip-hop culture in the late 70s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano and visual arts, his movement delves into identity in relation to personal history. Abraham has choreographed for Wendy Whelan, Misty Copeland, and NYC Ballet, among others. This will be his second visit to the CAC, following the company's performances of Pavement in 2013. The evening will feature new and recent works, including a solo for Abraham. Tickets are on sale now: CAC Members: $20, General Admission: $25. Tickets and information at cacno.org
The CAC will also serve as a venue for the 2020 Birdfoot Festival, New Orleans’ annual festival dedicated to classical chamber music. Birdfoot’s presence at the CAC will consist of a free and open to the public Birdfoot Backstage Concert at the CAC on May 28th and a special Birdfoot Concert on May 29th. For more information, visit birdfootfestival.org
Presenting cutting-edge contemporary art from around the world and highlighting women artists is part of the CAC’s mission of presenting works of our time. The CAC’s visual arts exhibition season continues with the critically-acclaimed Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires, on view through June 14th, 2020. Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires is an exhibition of new work—collages and montages by the New York-based Mickalene Thomas. Spanning new painting, film, and photography, the works include references to pop culture and the long history of Western and African Art—from Edouard Manet’s odalisque figures to the mise-en-scène studio portraiture of James Van Der Zee and Malick Sidibé. Thomas’ ability to detect and to hold contradictions translates into powerful, self-possessed depictions of Black women that confront and subvert stereotypes. In dialogue with collages and montages by artists notably including Pablo Picasso and Romare Bearden. Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires is accompanied by a catalogue, co-edited by Andrea Andersson and Julie Crooks (Art Gallery of Ontario), and co-imprinted by the AGO and Goose Lane Press.
Amplifying Thomas’s work is Femmes Féroces: Material Life X Femmes Noires, a collaborative pop-up between Mickalene Thomas and Carla Williams of the New Orleans-based emporium Material Life and Laa Ray Guillory. Occupying the Oval Gallery and cafe space in the CAC Atrium, Femmes Féroces celebrates the creativity and originality of our collective community of “femmes noires” —who, borrowing from the 100 Black Females Project, are defined as “…all who express and identify themselves as a woman, girl, femme, female, trans, queen on any day or all days,” states Carla Williams. Femmes Féroces will be on view through June 14th, 2020.
New Orleans-based visual artist Meg Turner is on view with Meg Turner: Here and Now, an exhibition of 100 portrait tintypes of artists, activists, teachers, schoolmates, friends, lovers, and near-strangers, as part of an immersive installation echoing the early roadside stations of the oft-mythologized American highway. With offerings for both subsistence and pleasure, Turner invites the public to join the photographic record of a fragile and political queer utopia. Meg Turner: Here and Now will be on view through April 12th, 2020.
Prior to performances, visit our special curated pop-up retail store Les Femmes Féroces: A Coffee & Retail Experience at the CAC featuring La Vie En Rose Café, Material Life, and LaSalle & Jackson.
CAC 2020 Spring Season
Dancing Grounds Presents DANCE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE FESTIVAL (A CAC Community Collaboration)
Saturday, March 28th, 2020 at 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, March 29th, 2020 at 2:00pm
Youth Ticket: $5 | Student/Seniors $15 | CAC Members: $25 | General Admission: $30
Buy Tickets Dancing Grounds is committed to ensuring that the performance is accessible to all New Orleans residents. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-535-5791 if you need financial assistance with your ticket.
Aurora Nealand and Goat in the Road Productions present KINDHUMANKIND
Wed. April 8th, Thurs. April 9th, Fri. April 10th at 7:30pm
Sat. April 11th at 2:00 pm & 7:30pm
Wed. April 15th & Fri. April 17th at 7:30pm
CAC Members: $20 | General Admission: $25
Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 at 9pm
CAC Members: $25 | General Admission: $30
Kyle Abraham / A.I.M.
Friday, May 8th, 2020 at 7:30pm
Saturday, May 9th, 2020 at 7:30pm
Laura B. Tennyson
Associate Director of Communications
Press Images for the CAC Spring 2020 Performing Arts Season available here
About the CAC
The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is a multidisciplinary arts center dedicated to the presentation, production, and promotion of the art of our time. Formed in 1976 by a passionate group of visual and performing artists when the movement to tear down the walls between visual and performing arts was active nationwide, the CAC expresses its mission by organizing world class curated exhibitions, performances, and public programs that educate and enlarge audiences for the arts while encouraging collaboration among diverse stakeholders composed of artists, institutions, communities, and supporters throughout the world.
About Dancing Grounds
Dancing Grounds is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that brings high-quality, inclusive, and accessible dance education programs to New Orleans residents of all ages and backgrounds. We use dance as a vehicle for developing young leaders, inspiring health and wellness, and promoting social justice. Dancing Grounds has become a driving force for arts and education in New Orleans and a hub for the local dance community. Since 2012, we have served over 2,000 youth, 3,000 adults, and countless audience members.
About Goat In The Road Productions
Goat in the Road Productions is a New Orleans-based nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, innovative theatre, dance and performance art site-specific locations and unconventional spaces. Since its inception in 2009, GRP has produced over thirty original works, worked in partnership with Dillard University and the Contemporary Arts Center, won numerous Big Easy Awards, and been featured in American Theatre magazine. They are currently presenting their latest work, The Uninvited, at the Gallier House.
The mission of A.I.M is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into hip-hop culture in the late 1970s and grounded in Kyle Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano, and the visual arts, the goal of the movement is to delve into identity in relation to a personal history. The work entwines a sensual and provocative vocabulary with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual in an effort to create an avenue for personal investigation and exposing that on stage. A.I.M. is a representation of dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individualities create movement that is manipulated and molded into something fresh and unique.