March 25, 2011


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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Black Student Union at Bucknell University will host the annual Black Arts Festival April 14 to 17. Several events are free and open to the community.

"The Black Student Union aims to create and facilitate a culturally diverse environment in which students can experience a multicultural undergraduate career," said Nadia Sasso, president of the Black Student Union.

"The Black Arts Festival has been celebrated for generations by the Bucknell and Lewisburg community. We hope that students and members of the local community will join us in this educational and entertaining experience."

Thursday, April 14
Bucknell alumna Amber Gray will present the multimedia presentation. "Dancing in Our Blood: Creative Resistance and Recovery Work in Haiti," at 4:30 p.m. in the Hunt Hall Formal Living Room.

A 1983 Bucknell graduate, Gray is the founder and director of Trauma Resources International. She has worked with survivors of human rights abuses and trauma in Haiti for more than 13 years, and has worked internationally and in the field of public health, healing and human services for almost 25 years.

Gray is working on a project to provide education and training to mental health workers and community leaders in Haiti. She works with local street children, communities, and nonprofit organizations to find creative paths to healing, including dance, drumming, rituals and song.

This event is part of the "Resist, Reclaim, Recreate: Stories of Survival and Transformation in Haiti series."

The art auction, "Halos for Haiti," will begin at 5 p.m. in the Hunt Hall Formal Living Room following Gray's presentation. Proceeds of the sale of original artwork by Bucknell students and staff of the Black Diaspora will be given to fund Gray's project in Haiti.

Friday, April 15
A dance workshop will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Center Room of the Elaine Langone Center. Co-sponsored by the Bisonettes dance team, the workshop will cover African, Caribbean and hip-hop techniques.

A poetry slam, "Back to the Root," will begin at 5 p.m. in the Smith Library of the Vaughan Literature Building, featuring poetry and spoken word with Bucknell students, faculty and staff.

Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder, will give the Black Arts Festival Keynote at 7 p.m. in Rooke Chemistry Auditorium. Douthit is a Grammy-winning hip-hop producer, DJ, lecturer and rapper, and professor of music at North Carolina Central University.

He began his career as the main producer for the hip-hop group Little Brother and has worked with Mary J. Blige, Jean Grae, Lil' Wayne, Wale, Jay-Z, MURS, Drake, Buckshot, Destiny's Child, Obie Trice, Erykah Badu, Ludacris, David Banner, and Dumpology. As of 2010, 9th Wonder raps under the name of 9thmatic. He is passionate about educating youth about hip-hop's origins and history.

Saturday, April 16
The Black Arts Festival Block Party will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Smith Quad, just off Seventh Street. "The festival is a family-friendly event with performances, inflatables, food, vendors and stroll-off competition," said Sasso.

Sunday, April 17
The Black Arts Festival will close with the BASA Bash, scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. in Larison Dining Hall. Sponsored by the Bucknell African Students Association, the event will feature activities and traditions of African people, including dancing, hair braiding, bracelet making and face painting.

Contact: Division of Communication

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