Neuqua Students Use the Arts to Laud Black History Month

By Piccininni, Ann | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 31, 2008 | Go to article overview

Neuqua Students Use the Arts to Laud Black History Month


Piccininni, Ann, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Ann Piccininni Daily Herald Correspondent

Like a richly layered and complex quilt, Neuqua Valley High School's "Tapestries" will weave bits of black history to create a composite performance of singing, dancing, acting and art.

"It's a celebration of black America," said English teacher Aubrey Smith, who is co-directing the show with theater arts teacher Brigid Tileston.

"We're paying homage to some of our favorite artists, musicians, playwrights and poets."

The 75-minute show, which launches the school's observance of Black History Month, takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Naperville school's main auditorium, 2360 95th St.

"We have a lot of singing, a lot of dancing and a lot of art in the play," Tileston said.

The show features several sets, one of which takes the audience to Motown in the 1950s, she said. The '60s are recalled with a girl-group performance reminiscent of Diana Ross and the Supremes or Martha and the Vandellas.

A piece of art prominently displayed in the show is a 50-foot- wide quilt crafted by art teacher Heidi Parkes in the Gee's Bend tradition.

"It's kind of used as a backdrop," Tileston said.

An exhibition featuring quilts made by black women in Gee's Bend, Ala., during the mid-20th century currently is traveling to several major art museums, Smith said.

The art of Harlem Renaissance painter Romare Bearden also is highlighted, Tileston said, along with the poetry of Maya Angelou. …

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