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A Poetic Medley: Dunbar 150 Tribute


Saturday, August 13, 7 - 8:30 pm
Eichelberger Forum, Main Library, 215 E. 3rd Str., Dayton, OH

Presented by Dayton Metro Library and OFP Productions, “Lyrics. Love. Legacy.” celebrates Paul Laurence Dunbar, the Gem City’s urban roots, and Black creativity. Experience passionate and energy-fused theatrical performances featuring national and regional actors and artists. Enjoy a visual arts display by the Ed Dixon Gallery with the work from the late Curtis Barnes Sr.

Admission is free. Appropriate for all ages. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Dayton Metro Library.

Meet the Artists

sol

Mama Sol, of Flint, Michigan, is a national hip-hop and spoken word artist, transition trainer, humanitarian, publisher, workshop facilitator, teacher, and two-time breast cancer survivor and single mother. She has performed at several universities in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and has opened up for these musical greats: Robert Glasper, Rakim, Rapsody, Talib Kweli, and Yasin Bey (a.k.a. Mos Def). Her contributions to the cultural fiber of the spoken word genre have been reflected in performances at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Flint Institute of the Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African History, and the Bronx Museum. Mama Sol is currently the voice of the 2021 Detroit Pistons “We Hustle Different” campaign.

Rico

Rico Romalus Parker, born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, was inspired to perform after hearing Dunbar’s poem “In the Morning” in elementary school. He is a member of Actor’s Equity, with theatrical credits including: Topdog/Underdog, Lobby Hero, King Hedley II, Belleville, Colossal, The Brothers Size, Gem of the Ocean, Blue Orange, A Raisin in the Sun, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Stagger Lee, Every Tongue Confess, The Gammage Project, Passing Strange, and The Exonerated. Parker will make his film debut in HBO Max’s Turtles All the Way Down.

diggs

Shaun Diggs has been pursuing acting since 2016. His most recent stage performance is The Meeting, where he played the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diggs made his film debut starring in Axé and also appeared in Freaky Profiling and In Absence.

marva

Marva Williams-Parker is an award-winning actress with theatrical credits that include: Change, A Raisin in the Sun, Murder Me, Murder Me Not, The Exonerated, The King Stag, Intimate Apparel and Gem of the Ocean (both of which she earned DayTony Awards for), Coretta, and Sisterhood of Survivors. She has also starred in the film Painted Lady and in numerous commercials. Williams-Park choreographs various shows and co-hosts the podcast “Just Us” with her mother.

boatwright

William Boatwright, Jr. is an accomplished actor and Dayton, Ohio native who has a passion for the arts. His stage credits include: Footloose, Carousel, Children Of Eden, Guys And Dolls, Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, A Few Good Men, Eunice: Star Shine and Clay, and The Library.

smith

Christopher Smith is a tenor with an extensive performance record as a vocal soloist and guest clinician. He is a graduate of Central State University with a Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree from Miami University. Smith teaches choir, percussion, and rock band instruments at Summit Academy Transition High School (Cincinnati, Ohio), as well as voice lessons, both privately and at the School of Rock (Mason, Ohio). Smith will assume the role of Director of Choral Activities at Wilberforce University in Fall 2022.

vibe5

Vibe5 Band is a Dayton, Ohio band that has traveled the country supporting various national recording artists and performing jazz shows for many festivals and events. Vibe5 Band members include: Derosa Richardson, Jason Herring, Ronald Frost Jr., and Charles Olive. According to the band, “Vibe5” is the fifth element of when music meets the audience's spirit, ultimately creating “the vibe.”

Hailing from the Gem City - Dayton, Ohio - Billi Ewing is a vocalist, multi-faceted creative, motivational speaker, compassionate communitarian, former urban public & charter-school administrator, and Wright State University graduate. In 2014, she created “Billi’s BElievers – From Tumor to Triumph,” turning a perceived tragedy into a flourishing, faith-filled brain tumor awareness ministry. Ewing also performed in “The Signature’s Season 7: Poetic Medley Show” and “Eunice: Star Shine and Clay” theatrical production.

Meet the Production Team

sierraSierra Leone is a poet, writer, and Governor's Award winner. She is also the president, artistic director, and co-founder of OFP Theatre and Production Company. For more than a decade, Leone’s vision of using creative urban arts as a powerful artistic medium has united communities together across racial, cultural, ideological, and economic divides. Her project, The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show, presents a hybrid of urban poetry, music, dance, and visual arts from local, regional, and international talent and now includes a lively commemoration and celebration of Juneteenth.

Leone is a highly recognized community organizer and educator who has worked with youth arts organizations, schools, and neighborhoods through her company's educational arm, Signature Educational Solutions.

She is a 2020 Kennedy Center Artist Fellowship Finalist Nominee. Additionally, Leone is co-founder of the Home for Urban Creative Arts and Artists, which sponsored the inaugural Urban Creative Arts Healing and Performance Symposium in April 2020 and featured 30 Urban and Community voices.

oft friends

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