Black History Month is kicking off in Fayetteville this year with the Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum exhibit. Original prints from Bearden’s only published children’s book, Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story, will be the highlight of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council. Featuring twenty-six original watercolors created by Bearden for the book, there will also be text panels with audio narration by Maya Angelou.
Li’l Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story was published posthumously in September of 2003. The book tells the story of Li’l Dan, a slave on a Southern plantation. He loves to play his drum. When a company of Union soldiers announces the slaves have been set free, Dan has no place to go, so he follows the soldiers, who make him their mascot. When Confederate soldiers attack, Dan discovers that he is the only one who can save his friends.
The free exhibition is open from January 22 through March 5, 2016, during regular gallery hours. An array of dynamic programming is planned around this exhibit, including a lecture by Diedra Harris-Kelly, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation in New York City, performance of an original play entitled The Color of Courage, lectures and music programs from the Fayetteville State University Fine Arts Department and a drum workshop for youth. Several historical components will be included in the display, including an original Civil War drum, a reproduction Union Soldier’s Uniform, a southern Civil War-era female outfit, a bayonet and an original painting of the Fayetteville arsenal before it was destroyed in 1865.
“This exhibition and related programming offers a fitting celebration of an artist hailed as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Romare Bearden,” says Mary Kinney, Director of Marketing at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “Additionally, we’re proud that the exhibit ties together many cultural components – Civil War and African-American history, visual arts and theater.”
About Romare Bearden
Romare Howard Bearden was born on September 2, 1911, to (Richard) Howard and Bessye Bearden in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died in New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art. Bearden’s work is included in many important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003).
About The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County
The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the nonprofit agency administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts. The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.
About the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.visitfayettevillenc.com or call 1-800-255-8217.
Learn More about Romare Bearden Park located in Uptown Charlotte.
The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County is located at 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC