Almost a year ago, a racially motivated deadly shooting in Charleston shocked and devastated South Carolina.
Saturday, “Hope in Harmony: An Artistic Conversation Commemorating the First Anniversary of the Mother Emanuel AME Tragedy,” will be held at Tapp’s Arts Center, 1644 Main St. in Columbia.
“This offers an opportunity for people to come together and reflect on something that affected all of us,” said Amanda Belue, communications manager for the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, which in partnership with Izzard Entertainment and Tapp’s Art Center is sponsoring the event.
The performance begins at 6 p.m. and costs $8.
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This expressive evening of arts and community dialogue will premiere a song cycle by award-winning composer, producer and director Darryl Izzard, in response to the Mother Emmanuel AME tragedy.
Izzard’s work will be performed by the Hope and Harmony Ensemble, composed of members of the Benedict Gospel Choir, USC’s A Touch of Faith Gospel Choir, and Columbia College’s Heavenly Creations Gospel Choir.
“Tragedy doesn’t have to end with pain, but it can end with hope,” Izzard said in a news release. “Having experienced the pain of losing a close relative to racial violence as a teenager, I know firsthand how it feels and wanted to respond to hatred with love.
“I believe that the arts are the barometer of society. As artists, we document the feelings and thoughts of humanity.”
Singer Ann Caldwell, pianist Eric Crawford, gospel singer Labarius Torez Edwards, and bluegrass band Palmetto Blue will also perform. There will be a dance performance by Tiffany McIntyre.
Hope in Harmony will feature artwork by Janet Swigler and Angel Allen, and poetry by Jennifer Bartell. Bud Ferillo, a civil rights and public education activist, filmmaker and currently coordinator of the South Carolina Collaborative for Racial Reconciliation based at USC, will also take part in the event.
“This event not only highlights Darryl (Izzard) as a fantastic artist, but it showcases how music and art can help heal and make connections in the community,” Belue said.
The program will culminate in a moderated panel discussion with the artists, followed by an open forum. The panel will be moderated by Marc Drews, Director of Education Programs and Partnerships at EdVenture Children’s Museum.
Hope in Harmony is the final public program in conjunction with the McKissick exhibition, Heard at Every Turn: Traditional Music in South Carolina. This exhibition represents year three of McKissick’s Diverse Voices series, which explores the vibrant traditions that help create and maintain the Palmetto State’s unique and complex cultural landscape.
Lezlie Patterson, Special to The State