Performance takes place Jan. 17 at Akron Civic Theatre
— Inlet Dance Theatre will expand Dominic Moore-Dunson’s dance theatre production, “The ‘Black Card’ Project” to include performances at the Akron Civic Theatre in January, along with educational videos, movement workshops, and other activities. The production centers on using the arts to generate community discussion on black identity and its connection to economic development.
Performances at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., will begin in January. A student matinee will take place for the Akron Public Schools and other student groups on Thursday, Jan 16., along with a public performance on the evening of Friday, Jan 17. Tickets for the public performance are available on Ticketmaster at www.tinyurl.com/TBCP2020.
“The ‘Black Card’ Project,” which premiered to audiences in September 2018 at Firestone Community Learning Center in Akron, is a live-action dance theatre cartoon about Artie Alvin Beatty III, a young homeschooled black boy with a highly overdeveloped inner-sphere. Artie’s mother, being concerned about his lack of awareness of his cultural identity, sends him to “Booker T. Malcolm Luther Parks Academy of Absolute Blackness!” In a single school day, Artie must pass various classes such as, “How To Dance on Beat” and “Thuggin 101” in order to earn his “black card”. (“The Black Card” is an African-American metaphor of one’s black identity, authenticity or belonging.)
This family-friendly show, which is supported through new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Akron winning project, aims to impart hope, raise awareness and open dialogue about the narrow definition of the black identity. While specific to the black cultural experience, the show explores universal themes of identity, belonging and perseverance.
Dominic Moore-Dunson (2019 Cleveland Arts Prize Winner) is a Company Member and the Assistant to the Artistic Director with Inlet Dance Theatre. Now in his 10th season with the company, he hails from Akron, where he attended the University of Akron and Firestone High School (Akron School for the Arts).
Recently recognized as “New Agent” by MOCA Cleveland, he has received numerous fellowships and recognitions as an emerging artist and arts leader including: 2019 Jacob’s Pillow Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellow, 2018 Commission by Akron Art Museum to his solo work, “CAUTION”, a 2018 Breakout Artist by the Devil Strip Magazine (Akron), 2016 National Arts Strategies (NAS) Creative Community Fellow (DC), 2016 Collen Porter Fellow (International Performing Arts for Youth), and an inaugural member of Leadership Akron’s Diversity on Board Program.
Recently, he has completed a professional certificate program with National Arts Strategies’ Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategies (University of Pennsylvania) to enhance his capacity in all aspects of running a successful arts & culture non-profit organization. Moore-Dunson currently serves as a board member of ArtsNow and is a member of the Akron Cultural Plan Steering Committee.
Inlet Dance Theatre was selected as a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge winner for its idea to expand “The ‘Black Card’ Project.” The challenge is a communitywide initiative that supports projects designed to engage and enrich Akron through the arts.
“Art has the power to transform people and communities. It helps us challenge assumptions, hear new perspectives and see the world differently,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for the arts. As a Knight Arts Challenge winner, ‘The ‘Black Card’ Project’ will showcase Akron’s talent and creativity, as well as use the arts to inspire resident conversation on an important, relevant topic.”
To learn more about “The ‘Black Card’ Project,” visit www.facebook.com/blackcardproject.