Black History Month

Appreciating and sharing black culture in Gilroy

Gilroy Center for the Arts invites the public to its fourth annual Black History Month art exhibit and event, opening Feb. 3. ‘Frederick Douglass’ Sculpture by Katie Johnson

Garlic—it’s usually the first thing that comes to mind when people mention Gilroy. But this February the Gilroy Arts Alliance will host its fourth annual Black History Month art exhibit and event. South Valley sat down with Gilroy local and exhibit curator Louise Shields to find out what event-goers could expect this year.

What’s new this year?

This year the alliance is in partnership with Gavilan College to help promote each other’s Black History Month’s events. The alliance and the college hope to continue this partnership and work together for future events.

The alliance also is sponsoring a performance by the South Valley African community dance troupe in traditional regalia, dancing and drumming.

Local artist Ernest Kirk, Jr. also will exhibit. He has been painting folk art for a while. Local African American vocalist Saintjohn Ward will also be one of the performers. He has his own story of triumph—he’s a great role model.

The alliance has also invited Vercila Chacon to conduct a ceremonial Native American blessing. Incorporating this element enhances the Black History Month celebration, demonstrating that all men and women come from the same creation.

Why is it important to continue to offer events like these?

Black History Month offers a way to celebrate and remember people and the events in the history of the African Diaspora. It’s a way of celebrating, observing and remembering the people and the events that took place, building connections and inclusiveness. The celebration will bring the community together, regardless of race, creed, color.

Who should attend?

Everyone. This is an an enrichment event for the community. It’s going to be a day filled not just with beautiful artwork and storytelling, drumming, and talking about the richness of black history—it’s a family day.

Gilroy Arts Alliance presents its fourth annual Black History Month Art Exhibit and Event at the Gilroy Center for the Performing Arts, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 with an opening reception at noon-3:30pm. The exhibit continues until March 3.