The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will present Grace Notes: Reflections For Now, Carrie Mae Weems‘ meditative and provocative new work which explores grace in the face of racism and violence. Weems, an acclaimed photographer and multimedia artist, has created and narrates a performance rooted in music, song, video, dance, and spoken word. First commissioned by the Spoleto Festival USA, Grace Notes, has its Washington, D.C. premiere in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on Friday, October 20 at 8 p.m.
Inspired by President Obama singing “Amazing Grace” in the wake of the 2015 mass shooting that killed nine African American members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, Grace Notes explores the implications of racial violence. The work pays tribute to the young black men who have lost their lives in recent and shines a light on escalating racial tensions in communities across America.
Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems’ work investigates family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems and the consequences of power. For over thirty years, Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video.
The cast features renowned artists from across disciplines, including music director and composers Craig Harris, James Newton, and Edward Ruchalski; singers Nona Hendryx, Alicia Hall Moran, Imani Uzuri, and Eisa Davis; poets Carl Hancock Rux and Aja Monet; and dancer Francesca Harper.