Join us for an afternoon convening to honor the life, work, and legacy of Audre Lorde on what would have been her 90th birthday. Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992), self identified as a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” Lorde’s life work took the form of writer, educator, philosopher, activist towards expansive, imaginative and liberatory justice.
We are honored to premier for the first time on film, A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, by Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson. Following the screening, we will continue the conversation with a reflection and celebration, movement with Jasmine Hearn, and words with Alexis Pauline Gumbs who is in deep study with Lorde’s ever impactful life and body of work. All are welcome to attend a portion or the entirety of the event.
This event is co-presented by Carnegie Museum of Art, Black Unicorn Project, Carnegie Mellon University’s Frank Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Center for African American Poetry Poetics at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Sound and Image, and Third World Newsreel.
The film with introductions, Q and A with Michelle Parkerson and Ada Gay Griffin, as well as the 6 p.m. presentation by Alexis Pauline Gumbs will be available digitally on this webpage on the day and during the time of the program.
2:30 p.m.: Art Theater doors open
Abafasi will set and open the space with drums and presence as we gather.
3 p.m.: Welcome and Screening, Art Theater
Screening of A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde followed by a reflection with filmmakers Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson. This will portion of the event will be live streamed.
5–5:45 p.m.: Celebration of Audre Lorde and Movement, Café Carnegie
Join collective reflection and celebration of Audre Lorde. There will be cake and light snacks to share with a cash bar.Interdisciplinary artist Jasmine Hearn will weave memory keeping movement inspired by the works, words and living of Audre Lorde and conjuring of what we continue to learn and become in her legacy. Jasmine will facilitate our transition with movement from the celebration in the Café back to the Art Theater.
6–7:00 p.m.: Afterimages: The Eternal life of Audre Lorde with Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Art Theater This will portion of the event will be live streamed.
About the Artists
Abafasi means “many wimmin”. We are an all wimmins African Drumming ensemble. We play traditional and original rhythms, we sing originals and covers.
Bekezela Mguni is a queer Trinidadian artist, cultural worker, and librarian. She is the founder of the Black Unicorn Library and Archives Project, a Black queer feminist community library and cultural intervention, cultivating possibilities and freedom. She also serves as the Artistic Director of Dreams of Hope, which provides the region’s LGBTQIA+ youth a welcoming environment to grow in confidence, express themselves, and develop as leaders through the arts.
Writer/Filmmaker Michelle Parkerson is from Washington, DC. Her award-winning documentaries include BUT THEN, SHE’S BETTY CARTER, GOTTA MAKE THIS JOURNEY: Sweet Honey in the Rock, A LITANY FOR SURVIVAL: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (all of which aired nationally on PBS) and STORME’: The Lady of the Jewel Box. Her films have screened at several major festivals, including The Sundance Film Festival, The Berlin International Film Festival, AFI Fest and Blackstar Film Festival. Michelle has received numerous grants and awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (Jazz Program /”…Betty Carter”), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (“…Audre Lorde”), the DC Mayor’s Art Award, grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Rainbow History Project’s Community Pioneer Award and most recently, a HumanitiesDC Docs Grant. Her latest documentary, FIERCENESS SERVED! The ENIKAlley Coffeehouse revives the storied history of a Washington, DC, Black LGBTQ cultural renaissance in the 1980s. Michelle Parkerson’s earlier films from the 1980s and 90s are streaming on The Criterion Collection.
Ada Gay Griffin
Ada Gay Griffin is a creative consultant and director of art and culture projects. She has achieved over three decades of success leading and advising community-responsive efforts to advance social change. Her multi-disciplinary fluency strengthens the nonprofit and small business sectors through capacity building, financial sustainability, strategic planning, and the collaborative advancement of the arts, community and economic development, public service, and social justice.
Jasmine Hearn is an interdisciplinary artist, director, performer, choreographer, organizer, doula, and teacher. They are committed to performance as an expansive practice that includes a spectrum of dance and somatic traditions and techniques, sound design, garment design, and the archiving of matrilineal memories. They give gratitude to Spirit, their mothers and aunties for believing in their moving, remembering body. Hearn, born and raised on occupied lands now known as Houston, TX, studied dance and sound with a multitude of teachers, including their sister, cousins, aunties, instructors, and friends at family events, church, and class at the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center. They have also been greatly influenced by teachers, mentors, and collaborators, including Byronné J Hearn, Claudette Nickens Johnson, Joy KMT, Barbara Mahler, Pamela Pietro, Kendra Portier, Samita Sinha, Sandra Organ Solis, jhon r. stronks, Sherie van den Wijngaard, Charmaine Warren, Marýa Wethers, Bennalldre Williams, Marlies Yearby, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Hearn received a B.A. from Point Park University.
Sista Docta Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all life. She is/they are the author of several books, most recently Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals, and has a forthcoming biography, Survival is a Promise: The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde. She is/they are the co-founder of the Mobile Homecoming Trust, an intergenerational experiential living library of Black LBGTQ brilliance.