Rutgers-Newark Arts & Culture Leaders Explore Impact of Romare Bearden at NYC Event

Romare Bearden's "The Baptism"

Rutgers–University Newark arts and culture leaders will explore the enduring influence of artist Romare Bearden at a performance and symposium held at the New School in Manhattan from November 30 through December 2.

Two generations after the passing of American icon Romare Bearden in 1988, The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark, The New School’s Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, combine forces to examine Bearden’s legacy under three distinct lenses: the impact of his activist work, especially his prints; the role of music in both his practice at large and the activist projects; and the resonance of his oeuvre in contemporary art making.

The celebration of Bearden is titled “In Common: Romare Bearden and New Approaches to Art, Race & Economy.”

“This very timely and important gathering will highlight the essential but often overlooked connections between creative culture, race, economy, and community building, looking back on our history and looking forward to our evolving future,’’ said Wayne Winborne, Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers–University Newark, who is co-organizing the event.

The series of events features a free performance and talk by Rutgers-Newark professor Stefon Harris and his group Blackout. In addition to Harris, a four-time Grammy-nominated jazz artist, percussionist Terri Lyne Carringon will also perform at The New School on November 30.

Speakers at a symposium held on December 1 and 2 include Pulitzer-Prize winner Salamishah Tillet, Executive Director of Express Newark and a professor of African American Studies and Creative Writing. Other speakers are former Spelman College president, Mary Schmidt Campbell; Pulitzer Prize winning poet and author, Natalie Diaz; Ford Foundation Creativity and Free Expression Program lead, Rocio Aranda-Alvarado; as well as many of the nation's leading innovators in the arts, education, local government, social investment, journalism, and grassroots advocacy related to the issues.

The performances and symposium are free but visitors must pre-register. Registration and event information can be found here. 

The  Bearden events also include an exhibition featuring a selection of his art, alongside artworks from six leading and emerging contemporary Black artists: Black Quantum Futurism, Kahlil Robert Irving, Lorraine O’Grady, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, and Charisse Pearlina Weston.  The exhibition is free and open to the public from November 9, 2023–January 15.