Black History Month at the ROM

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					                                                                     100 Queen’s Park   416.586.8000
                                                                     Toronto, Ontario   www.rom.on.ca
                                                                     M5S 2C6




         NEWS RELEASE

         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
         For more information, interviews, images, please contact:
         Marilynne Friedman, Senior Publicist, marilynf@rom.on.ca or 416.586.5826
                                                H




                        Black History Month at the ROM
                  Position As Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity
                   programming launches the ROM’s Black History Month

         (Toronto, Ontario, January 13, 2011) Black History Month at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
         offers an engaging and wide-ranging line up of events inspired by the current exhibition Position
         As Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection.
         Presented at the ROM until March 27, 2011 in collaboration with Wedge Curatorial Projects, the
         exhibition’s photographs, ranging from rare vintage portraits of the first African immigrants to
         Canada to contemporary works by emerging artists, document the experiences of African
         Canadians. Black History Month’s free programming includes a musical performance, a film
         night and a symposium exploring African Canadian identity.

         Dr. Kenneth Montague is guest curator of Position As Desired and founder of Wedge Curatorial
         Projects, a Toronto-based arts organization with a mandate of increasing public awareness and
         understanding of visual arts with an emphasis on African and Diasporic artists. Dr. Montague is
         responsible for organizing many of the events occurring in conjunction with Black History
         Month.

         Events celebrating Position As Desired include:
         Listen As Desired: A Premiere Performance by the Andrew Craig Trio & A
         Conversation with Kenneth Montague
         Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 7:00pm
         Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
         FREE (enter via the President’s Choice School entrance at the Museum’s south end)

         This evening will feature the premiere of Andrew Craig’s musical composition “Family Album” -
         a personal refection of his own experiences as an African Canadian. He will also engage in an on-


Black History Month 2011 news release                                                        Page 1 of 3
January 13, 2011
stage conversation with Position As Desired curator Kenneth Montague and participate in a Q&A with
the audience.

Andrew Craig is a Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, director, composer and
broadcaster who works in multiple musical genres. He is currently a Resident Artist at Toronto’s Young
Centre for the Performing Arts and a full-time host on CBC Radio’s Canada Live.


Witness As Desired: A Celebration of African Canadian Film
Sunday, February 20, 2011, 3:30 – 5:30pm (reception to follow)
TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
FREE

Presented by TD Financial Group and hosted by TIFF Co-Director Cameron Bailey, Witness As Desired
is an exploration of African Canadian identity in film. The program presents a series of short films by
established and emerging filmmakers reflecting historical journeys that challenge representations of
African Canadians and documents contemporary perceptions of race and identity.

Filmmakers include Deanne Bowen, Jason Ebanks, Chantal James, Sylvia Hamilton, Sharon Lewis and
Dawn Wilkinson, among others. A panel discussion with Cameron Bailey and the featured
contemporary filmmakers will follow screenings of their work.

Please visit witnessasdesired.wedgecuratorialprojects.org for details on films and artists.


Position As Desired: A Symposium on Identity
Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
FREE (does not include Museum admission - enter via the President’s Choice School entrance at the
Museum’s south end)

This event addresses the importance of creating a space for African Canadian artists and scholarship.
The symposium includes four moderated panel discussions on African Canadian identity: where we
have come from (our position) and where we are going (our desire).

The first of the event’s four panels will address the history of African Canadian artists and communities.
The second panel reflects on representation- for example, black artists’ acceptance from the arts
community at large. The third panel is a moderated discussion with the four emerging photographers
featured in Position As Desired – Christina Leslie, Megan Morgan, Dawit L. Petros and Stacey Tyrell.
The final panel will discuss current opportunities for artists, addressing what needs to be done to
increase awareness of their work on the global stage.

Panelists include local and international artists, curators, academics and cultural workers, including Dr.
Kenneth Montague - founder of Wedge Curatorial Projects and curator of Position As Desired - as well as
Warren Crichlow, Julie Crooks, and Deborah Willis, among many others.




Black History Month 2011 news release                                                     Page 2 of 3
January 13, 2011
Other Black History Month programming at the ROM:

Film Screening: The Making of a Judge
Sunday, February 6, 2011 from 2 :00 – 3:00pm
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre (enter via Bloor Street W. doors)
FREE (does not include Museum admission)

Produced by his daughter Linda Carter, this documentary highlights the life of now 89-year old George
Carter, Canada’s first Canadian born black judge. Offered in co-operation with the Ontario Black
History Society (www.blackhistorysociety.ca), the film tells the story of a man from a humble
background, who served in Canada's military, worked as a porter, graduated from law school, and then
served with distinction for 16 years on the Bench in Ontario.


African Adventure ROM Family Day Weekend
Saturday, February 19 to Monday, February 21 from 11:00am – 4:00pm
Included with Museum admission

The ROM's Family Day Weekend celebration of Africa's rich culture and heritage features music
performances, films, drumming workshops, a scavenger hunt through Africa, family tours of the ROM's
exhibition El Anatsui : When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, as well as crafts inspired by the special
exhibition.


Great public events in conjunction with El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa continue
in February. The exhibition, presented by the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the ROM,
is on display until February 27, 2011. Led by prominent guest guides, Fresh Perspectives are curatorial
tours of El Anatsui taking place on select Sundays at 2:00 pm. They are FREE with ROM admission.
Guides in February include:


Feb. 6, 2011      Julie Crooks, Independent curator
Feb. 13, 2011     Michael Chambers, Visual artist
Feb. 20, 2011     Joan Butterfield, Art Director of the Association of African Canadian Artists
Feb. 27, 2011     Sarah Milroy, Art critic


Both Position as Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection
and El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa are included with general ROM admission. Visit
www.rom.on.ca for full details.
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The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Opened in 1914, Canada’s largest
 museum of natural history and world cultures has six million objects in its collections and galleries showcasing
art, archaeology and natural science. For 24-hour information in English and French, please call 416.586.8000 or
                                   visit the ROM’s web site at www.rom.on.ca



Black History Month 2011 news release                                                            Page 3 of 3
January 13, 2011