sealPurdue News

September 20, 2002

Purdue students to explore Harlem and its renaissance

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Thirty participants from the four Black Cultural Center Student Performing Arts Ensembles will embark on a research trip to Harlem in New York City on Friday, Oct. 4.

The tour, which will run through Tuesday, Oct. 8, will focus on the period in the 1920s when Harlem was a hotbed of artistic expression. Students will gain insight into the life and work of the Harlem Renaissance artists, writers, musicians and performers and the role they played in shaping the historical period.

Renee Thomas, Black Cultural Center director, says the trip has been planned to give students a visual impression of the past and to lend some authenticity to their representation of the Harlem culture for the BCC's Cultural Arts Festival in December.

To study how cultural icons like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James W. Johnson and Duke Ellington flourished, students will walk the historic streets of Harlem and visit sites associated with the 1920s. Highlights of the tour will include visits to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the off-Broadway production, "Little Ham – A Harlem Jazzical," by Langston Hughes.

Michael Dinwiddie, New York University professor and scholar, will provide a lecture. Students also will participate in master classes conducted by the Boys Choir of Harlem, Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Awakening Production.

Upon their return to campus, students will share the information acquired during their trip and use it to enhance their performances during the arts festival in December.

CONTACT: Renee Thomas, (765) 494-3091,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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