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The Artist Activist: Centering Black Voices speaker series returns with one of America’s foremost modern opera singers Lawrence Brownlee in conversation with distinguished Mason Opera Professor and Director of Vocal Studies Patricia Miller. The evening will continue the series’ mission to discuss the intersection between the arts industry and social justice movements, highlighting the opportunity to change the future of the field the be more diverse and inclusive. The live conversation will include videos of Brownlee in performance and questions from current students of the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music.

Widely considered a leading figure in opera—both as a singer on the world's top stages, and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry, Brownlee has captivated audiences and critics around the globe. He has been hailed as “an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory” (The New York Times), “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars” (The Guardian), and “one of the most in-demand opera singers in the world today” (NPR). He will be celebrated as one of three recipients at the 16th Annual Opera NEWS Awards in April 2021. Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, Brownlee has emerged as a pivotal voice in classical music’s shift toward digital programming and the resurgence of conversations around racial justice. In May 2020, he launched “The Sitdown with LB,” a weekly Facebook Live series which explores the experience of being an African-American opera singer. Brownlee works with companies and engages civic organizations in the cities he visits to create programs and experiences seeking to expand opera audiences. His critically-acclaimed solo recital program Cycles of My Being, a song cycle that centers on the Black male experience in America today, has toured across the country three times since 2018, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and virtual broadcasts throughout 2020. Read Lawrence Brownlee’s full biography.

The Artist-Activist: Centering Black Voices features nationally renowned artists speaking about the essential intersection between the creative sector and social justice movements. Using their artistic practice as a jumping off point, these speakers seek to ignite meaningful dialogue within our community, inspiring actionable tools for change. Curated by a panel of anti-racist Mason educators, the conversations are to be free and open to the public. Additional speakers will be announced at a later date. 

FREE  

How to Watch

This conversation will be available to watch beginning Monday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time simultaneously on this webpage, the Center for the Arts Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Registration for the event is not required, but if you register you will be sent a reminder with details for how to watch prior to the event. Register now.