“Show What You Know”

KNOXVILLE – Celebrating their third annual “Show What You Know” festival, the Knox area people of color GLBT community speaks out and sings out the stories of their lives. Sponsored by the Carpetbag Theater, the festival will highlight the truth of the lives of people of color in the Knoxville area with a series of events that invite interaction and enable art to interface with social justice in a variety of ways.

From Monday, October 8th through Saturday, October 15th, the events arising from this initiative ring out to the larger GLBT community and strike a clear note intended to make others aware of the unique perspective and unique experience that GLBT people of color face both within and outside the GLBT community.

The festival’s main event is the production of “In Search of Human Culture,” a four-act play that addresses South Africa, war, AIDS/HIV and iconic jazz artists. Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor of San Francisco’s Cultural Odyssey and Jose Torres Tama of New Orleans will come together for a synergistic display of their mult-faceted talents. Jones and Ackamoor are well known as the creators of “Big Butt Girls, Hard-Headed Women,” an award winning collaborative performance that culminated in the founding of the Medea Project for Incarcerated Women. This Project is noted as a transformative and rehabilitative model in using performing arts as part of the rehabilitative process for women who are prisoners.
The performance venue is the amphitheater of Austin-East Performing Arts and Sciences Magnet High School at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, however folks in need of admission who do not have the ticket price will not be turned away.

The events kicked off Monday with a Café Noir at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. Other events include the following:

  • Songfest - song circles to sing of struggle and empowerment – spontaneous creativity includes hope for a new, original Knoxville song. Tuesday, October 11 at 8 p.m.
  • Storytelling Festival – storytelling at Haley Heritage Square Literary and Storytelling Festival at Morningside Park. Seniors are especially invited. Wednesday, October 12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • GLBT people of color life stories – listen to community members speak the truth of their lives including song and dance. Wednesday night at 7:30 pm at the Emporium Center for Arts and Culture located at 100 S. Gay St. in downtown Knoxville. Co-sponsored by the Carpetbay Theater and the newly formed People of Color Caucus.
  • Digital Story Festival – Thursday, October 13th, 8 p.m. at the Emporium Center for Arts and Culture.
  • Hispanic Heritage Festival – University of Tennessee Plaza from noon-5 p.m. Saturday, October 15th, along with samba ensemble in Charles Krutch Park on Market Square.

Carpetbag Theater is self-described as “a community based, non-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to the production of new works. CBT's Ensemble Company develops new scripts primarily through collaboration and improvisation. Founded in 1970, CBT is a corporation of writers, artists, dancers and musicians. It has had a notably good record of performances, workshops, and other activities, and is one of the few tenured African-American professional theatre companies in the South.”

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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