This year, NBAF’s 2021 programming theme “Rising Above” opens with ELDER Project, in collaboration with Freedom Park Conservancy. Sowing the Imagination is an event that explores the past to plant seeds of hope and build an equitable path forward. Moderator, Calinda Lee, from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights will lead a panel discussion with Artist Masud Olufani, Cellist Okorie Johnson, and Historian Nasir Muhammad about their creative practices and the extraordinary history of the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. The conversation will also involve David T. Howard School, which led to the creation of ELDER, a site-specific art installation (currently on display in Freedom Park), and the cello composition, in response to ELDER, created especially for NBAF 2021.
The virtual experience will include the pre-recorded panel discussion, Okorie’s performance, & the premiere of his original composition, Elder Roots & Tree. The event will feature a format that allows their on-line audience to participate through a Q&A with our panel, expanding the dialogue around these works as well as the 2021 NBAF theme of “Rising Above”.