College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Events

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Town Hall with Bill T. Jones: A Conversation on Community, Identity, and Art

When/WhereWednesday, Jan 29, 2020 7:30pmOff Campus Location

Pre-registration is closed. There will be a limited number of walk up seats available day of starting at 7:25.

Off-Campus Location: Old Town Hall (3999 University Dr., Fairfax, Va.)

The Center for the Arts at George Mason University welcomes the return of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company with a thrilling world premiere co-commissioned by the Center, entitled What Problem? Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m. As part of the company’s weeklong residency with the Center for the Arts, Jones will be hosting a town hall discussion open to the public. The Town Hall with Bill T. Jones: A Conversation on Community, Identity, and Art features Jones in Conversation with professors Franklin Dukes and Wendi Manuel-Scott. Jones’s work has long explored the idea of social justice and representation, asking the question “who gets left behind in our collective history, and how do we build a better future for all members of our community?” Dukes and Manuel-Scott have been exploring this question as it pertains to college campuses in the south, grappling with the history of slavery and monuments to the confederacy that still exist. Dukes’ work with UCARE (University & Community Action for Racial Equity) for the University of Virginia, and Manuel-Scott’s work with the Enslaved People of George Mason Memorial project, create opportunities for communities to explore how public art can serve as powerful mediums for repair, healing, and recognition. Considering Bill’s artistic work as a basis for that response, the three will explore how we move forward as a more inclusive and united community.

Wendi Manuel-Scott, Ph.D., is a School of Integrative Studies history professor and former Director of African and African American Studies at Mason. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses that explore Black resistance and agency from a diasporic and gendered perspective. In addition to her teaching and research, Wendi has led several public history projects in Loudoun, Fairfax, and Buckingham Counties that encourage the public to reimagine a past and present in which minoritized voices are centered and affirmed. She has also played a pivotal role in changing the landscape of George Mason University, mentoring and guiding a team of students who researched Mason’s history, leading to the creation of the Enslaved People of George Mason Memorial coming in 2021. 

Franklin Dukes, Ph.D. is a mediator and facilitator with the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation at the University of Virginia. He founded University & Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE) to address UVA’s legacy of slavery and white supremacy, leads IEN’s “Transforming Community Spaces” project helping communities transform problematic spaces, led community engagement as a member of the design team for UVA’s Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, and was a member of Charlottesville’s Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces determining the fate of the City’s Confederate statues. He received his Ph.D. from Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution in 1992.

Pre-registration is closed. There will be a limited number of walk up seats available day of starting at 7:25.