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This weekend, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is hosting the Regeneration Summit: A Celebration of Black Cinema in honor of their ongoing exhibition Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971, which has been extended through July 16. The three-day festival, which runs Feb. 3-5, will feature live entertainment, workshops, panel discussions and screenings with guests including Julie Dash, Carla Hayden, Janaya Future Khan, Shola Lynch, Justice Maya Singleton and others.
“Our exhibition, Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971, is like no other museum exhibition in that it celebrates Black participation in American cinema from the turn of the 19th century all the way through the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1970s,” Amy Homma, Chief Audience Officer of the Academy Museum, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We want visitors to understand, celebrate and uplift this history. So what better way to do that than to complement the exhibition with a weekend-long festival?”
This summit coincides with the release of the museum’s newly launched curriculum guide for the exhibit, in an effort to create more learning opportunities for the public, and with Los Angeles’ teachers and high school students in mind. Though the museum, which officially opened on Sept. 30, 2021, is relatively young in its institutional history, engaging visitors through intentional programming surrounding both the temporary and permanent exhibitions is a priority. Later this year, an exhibition focused on the work of filmmaker John Waters will open in the fall, and another community-centered program is expected to follow.
“Our philosophy around programming at the museum is centered on access and agency. We firmly believe that co-creating with our community members is a way for us to establish access — for folks to gain their own voice, learn new skills and be introduced to new content through our museum programs,” Homma says.
The weekend begins Friday with a block party, which will have various food vendors on the piazza and access to the galleries late into the night. A panel, What Does Black Cinema Mean to You?, will include film director Julie Dash and will be moderated by Rhea Combs, co-curator of Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971. The grandson of Cabell “Cab” Calloway, Joshua Langsam, and granddaughters of Fayard Nicholas, Cathie and Nicole Nicholas, will be joined by Grammy-winning songwriter and record producer James Fauntleroy for a live performance honoring Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers. (The performance will be introduced by Crenshaw High School’s Mighty Marching Cougars and the Amazing Grace Conservatory.)
Saturday’s events will be focused on scholarship, with the summit inviting academics from around the country to provide context for the exhibit, along with people from the community, including director John Singleton’s son, Justice Singleton.
According to Homma: “We’ve done a ton of outreach through the curation of the lineup for this weekend: talked to nonprofits, local schools, folks in the community, family members of past performers and filmmakers that are featured in Regeneration about how can we celebrate and bring this exhibition into contemporary culture.”
Sunday will be open and free for anyone to come and enjoy the activities, which will include guidance on horsemanship with the nonprofit organization Urban Saddles where people will be invited to saddle up and ride. In addition, director and president of the Academy Museum Jacqueline Stewart and the Academy Museum’s Teen Council will have a conversation with the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden about investigating the power of film restoration and how it can serve to impact generations of today and tomorrow.
For the full lineup of this weekend’s events, and to purchase tickets, visit the website here.
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