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Black History Month Double Celebration At Southampton Cultural Center

Edward Callaghan
John Wegorzewski

The multi-talented artist - painter, sculptor, actress, television producer, screenwriter, author and playwright Tina Andrews, currently Playwright in Residence at the Southampton Cultural Center, curated a marvelous exhibition to celebrate Black History Month.

Six African-American artists are featured in a new exhibit titled "From Africa to Abstract: Journey of a People through Art and Image." On view are the impressive works of Brent Bailer, Rosa Hanna Scott, Jacquelyn Flowers, Tina Andrews, Dianne Smith, and Danny Simmons. The exhibition showcase abstracts, sculptures, pastels, mixed media and representational works which together chart the African American experience in America.

Guest curator Tina Andrews gathered the artists from Washington, DC, Harlem, Brooklyn and East Hampton to expose their works to East End audiences. "It's an exciting, soulful exhibit filled with not only works which envisage our slave past, but abstracts and photos which visualize the present and promise of a post racial future. I urge everyone to come out and see it," says Andrews.

Proving the old adage if you want something done ask a busy person, Andrews is currently in rehearsals for the upcoming production of her new one woman show, "Coretta: Promise To The Dream." Proving her triple threat skills once again, she stars as Mrs. King and wrote and directed the production.

The play chronicles the life of Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, and her struggle to continue "His Dream" after his assassination. It dramatizes utilizing photos, video and trial transcript Mrs. King's determination and promise to make Dr. King's birthday a national holiday, and to prove who his true killer was in a civil trial which she won in 1999.

Andrews received a 1999 nomination at the Acapulco Black Film Festival for Best Screenplay, for the 1998 movie "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." In 2001, she became the first African American to win the Writers Guild of America award for Original Long Form, for writing the 2000 miniseries "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal." Her win was tied with Phil Alden Robinson and Stanley Weiser for the 2000 movie "Freedom Song." The miniseries also earned Andrews the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding TV Movie, Miniseries or Special, that same years. She also won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literary Nonfiction and the Literary Award of Excellence from the Black Writers Conference in Memphis in 2002, for her book "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal: The Struggle to Tell the Controversial Truth." She has also won the 2003 MIB/Prism Filmmaker Image Award and also received a proclamation from the City Council of New York in 2003.

"Coretta: Promise To The Dream" will run Friday, February 7 through Sunday, February 23, on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. General Admission is $ 2; Students under 21 with ID $12; seniors $20 on Fridays only.

The Southampton Cultural Center, Levitas Center for the Arts is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information call 631-287-4377 or visit southamptonculturalcenter.org.


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