Home Leisure & Sports 94th Annual Fisk Spring Arts Festival April 2-9

94th Annual Fisk Spring Arts Festival April 2-9

by Cass Teague
(l-r) Reflection of Passion by Eniola Olatokunbo and Genesis by Henry Alumona.

The 94th Annual Spring Arts Festival of Fisk University runs from Sunday, April 2 through Sunday, April 9, 2023. This year’s theme is “Repair — Respect—-Restore— Replenish:  Fisk Continues to be Inseparable from The Arts.”

The festival begins on Sunday, April 2, with a Gospel Explosion in the Fisk Memorial Chapel, beginning at 6:00 pm. A really exciting event follows as the Fisk Rocket Team Blast-Off will occur right after the Concert. Monday has Movies on the Lawn at 6:00 pm.

Tuesday brings “Charging Changes:  Remembering The Past for The Future – An Artistic Metamorphosis Towards Social Justice,” with programs at 1:00 pm for students and 8:00 pm for the Community, in the Appleton Room of historic Jubilee Hall. A Student Fashion Show will be held in Cravath Hall Mall on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.

The weekend kicks off Thursday with the annual Student Art Show, in the Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery on the Lower Level. A Literary Discussion on “The Role of African American Women Playwrights and Their Impact on American Theatre” will be led by Dr. LaTanya Rogers and Dr. Khalid Long at 10:00 am to inaugurate the Art Show.

Be sure to visit the ongoing exhibition by Alicia Henry on the Upper Level of the Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery, located at the corner of DB Todd Jr Blvd and Jackson Street. Professor Henry’s monographic exhibition, “Alicia,” explores the complexities and contradictions of beauty, identity, and social constructs—including love, loss, play, family, community, isolation, and interaction.

“Sweat,” by Lynne Nottage, Directed by Chuck Smith., a Collaboration with Vanderbilt University’s Theatre Department, will be presented in the Fisk Little Theatre, at 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, and again at 2:00 pm on Sunday to close the Festival. Admission is $5 for Students / $10 General Admission. This production is produced with permission from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 440 Park Avenue South, New York, New York. An Opening Reception for the play will be held from 5:30 pm until 6:30 pm on Friday in the Appleton Room.

About the play: Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, “Sweat” tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.

This production is the first-ever joint production of a play by VU Theatre and Fisk University. Chuck Smith of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre will direct the production. This play won the Pulitzer in 2017, and director Chuck Smith is Vanderbilt’s Coe Artist-in-Residence. Smith, Goodman Theatre’s resident director and an associate producer of Legacy Productions, initially came from Chicago to direct the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and the Kennie Playhouse Theatre production of August Wilson’s “Jitney.”

“Sweat” will feature a cast and crew from both universities. The second weekend’s performances will be in Vanderbilt’s Neely Auditorium April 13, 14, 15 (All shows at 8 pm).

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