Project is collaboration with Touchstone Theatre and Lehigh Valley Black African Heritage History Project
Curlee Raven Holton, professor and head of art and founding director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI), has engaged in a collaboration with Touchstone Theatre and the Lehigh Valley Black African Heritage History Project (LVBAHHP).
Holton has created a limited edition fine print inspired by the Touchstone-produced play Another River Flows – Stories, songs and a celebration of the Lehigh Valley Black Experience. This play has grown from the work of LVBAHHP, which has been collecting oral histories from local African-American residents since 2001.
The print, All Hands Held Together to Know the Truth, will be on display and available to purchase at the play’s three venues. It can also be obtained through EPI at (610) 330-5592. The purchase price of $250 will benefit EPI and Touchstone Theatre.
Touchstone will hold a “pay what you will” preview performance May 30–31 at the Third Street Alliance in Easton. The play will run June 6–7 at the Ice House in Bethlehem and June 13–14 at Allentown Symphony Hall. Tickets are $16 and $14 for seniors and students. To order, call Touchstone at (610) 867-1689 or visit www.touchstone.org or order through the Lehigh Valley Arts Council at www.lvartsboxoffice.org.
The collaboration began when Ysaye Barnwell, musical arranger and song gatherer for the play, visited EPI during one of her residency periods in the Lehigh Valley. The print consists of two parts; the central section is a painting full of figures – rows of children, men, and singing women, with a large group behind them. Framing the painted portion are photographs taken at story and song gatherings held by Touchstone Theatre in preparation for the play.
“It was such a perfect project for EPI and me to engage in – my work deals with themes of the public representation of people of color, and the Institute’s purpose is to encourage collaboration and the stretching of disciplinary boundaries. We’re happy to support Another River Flows,” explains Holton.
EPI was established in 1996 to promote research and experimentation within the print medium. Since its inception, EPI visiting artist and artist in residence programs have introduced students to over fifty artists from diverse cultural and social backgrounds. The visiting artists have provided students with talented, well educated, and ambitious role models. Their residencies have inspired print editions, experimental works, and artists’ books.
The Lehigh Valley Black African Heritage History Project (LVBAHHP) is a collaborative partnership between Muhlenberg College, the Lehigh County Senior Center, the Lehigh County Historical Society, Kutztown University, the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society, and Touchstone Theatre.
Founded in 1981 as a professional, not-for-profit ensemble theatre, Touchstone produces and presents original and classic theatre. In addition, Touchstone’s ensemble brings innovative educational programs to local schools and develops theatre-based programs that foster cultural, international, and community collaborations.