Thursday, April 2, 2020

Freedom singer Khari Wendell McClelland performing in C-K

Leave winter behind and enjoy four powerful cultural experiences under one roof.

The Thames Art Gallery, Buxton National Historic Site and Buxton Next Generation celebrate Black History Month with a fantastic family-friendly event on Saturday, February 29.

Watch a special film screening of Home to Buxton, view the historical artifacts on loan from the Buxton Museum, and gather for an informal curator’s tour of Legends Are the Rivers that Take Us Home currently on display in Thames Art Gallery.

The evening will culminate with an intimate concert experience featuring international singer and recording artist Khari Wendell McClelland in Studio One.

It promises to be a full evening of conversation, art and entertainment as we recognize the contributions that Black Canadians have and continue to make to the cultural landscape of our country and our communities.

The celebration begins with two free screenings of Home to Buxton.

This important and much loved film will be presented at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Studio One at the Cultural Centre. Local historians Bryan and Shannon Prince will attend both screenings to speak to the role the film has played in the living history of the Buxton community and to address the history of the community itself.

Following the evening screening, guests are invited to view a selection of historical artifacts on loan from the Buxton National Historic Site and to follow guest curator Cara Eastcott as she provides an informal tour of her exhibition, Legends Are the Rivers that Take Us Home.

At 8 p.m., the doors to Studio One will open again as the Thames Art Gallery and Buxton Next Generation present Freedom Singer Khari Wendell McClelland in an intimate concert setting.

Khari Wendell McClelland is a diversely talented and ever-evolving artist.

Originally, from Detroit, Khari has become a darling on the Canadian music scene with reviewers lauding his performances as a clever mix of soul and gospel.

Khari’s song writing crosses genres and generations, joyfully invoking the spirit of his ancestors who straddled the US-Canadian border in efforts to escape slavery and discrimination.

His music draws from this rich history, integrating the rhythms and folklore of early African-Americans with contemporary sounds and stories of struggle.

Recently, Khari received critical acclaim for his Freedom Singer project, recreating the music fugitive slaves carried on their journey north into Canada.

Khari often performs with the Roots Gospel group The Sojourners, but in this performance, there will be a special appearance by the Buxton Youth Choir.

Whether on stage or in the studio, Khari’s passion for community, equality and justice is palpable, as is his belief in the redemptive power of music.

The afternoon events are free of charge. Admission to the concert will be a suggested ten-dollar donation at the door.

The Thames Art Gallery is located at the Chatham Cultural Centre, 75 William St. N. Chatham. The gallery is open Wednesday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 7: p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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