Culture-maker Raven Chanticleer, a fashion designer, dancer, sculptor, storyteller, and perhaps most famously the founder, craftsman and proprietor of the Harlem African-American Wax and History Museum, is one of the many black artists on this side of the Beat generation whose legacy has been obscured.
Join Nikki Johnson, a photographer with the only remaining documentation of Chanticleer's work, along with scholar and artist C. Daniel Dawson, author Aoibheann Sweeney, filmmaker and artist Camille Billops and professor emeritus James Hatch, who together curate the Hatch-Billops collection, an extensive archive of 20th Century Black Culture, to discuss the case of Chanticleer and legacies of many other black artists. Moderated by David Henderson, poet, author and one of the founders of the Umbra Arts Movement.
Camille Billops was born in Los Angeles. Her primary medium is sculpture and recently, has turned her eye to filmmaking. In the last decade she has directed and produced "Suzanne, Suzanne," "Older Women and Love," "Finding Christa" and "The KKK Boutique Ain't Just Rednecks."
Billops' awards include: a Fellowship from The Huntington Hartford Foundation in 1963, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 1975, The International Women's Year Award for 1975-6, and The James Van Der Zee Award, Brandywine Graphic Workshop, in 1994.
Her works are in the permanent collections of the Studio Museum of Harlem, Photographers Gallery, London, and The Museum of Drawers, Bern, Switzerland. She has exhibited in one-woman and group exhibitions worldwide since 1965 including: Gallerie Akhenaton, Cairo, Egypt, Hamburg, Germany; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Gimpel and Weitzenhoffer Gallery and The New Museum of Contemporary Art, N.Y.; and El Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Columbia.
Camille Billops and her husband James Hatch, Professor of English at CCNY, co-founded the Hatch-Billops Archives of Black American Cultural History. The archives, housed in New York City, is a collection of visual materials, oral histories, and thousands of books chronicling black artists in the visual and performing arts.
C. Daniel Dawson
C. Daniel Dawson is a scholar and lecturer of African Diaspora and its impact on American culture. Professor Dawson has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, curator, and arts administrator.
He has served as Curator of Photography, Film and Video at the Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), Director of Special Projects at the Caribbean Cultural Center (NYC) and Curatorial Consultant and Director of Education at the Museum for African Art (NYC).
As a photographer, he has shown in over 35 exhibitions. In addition, he has curated more than 50 exhibitions. Prof. Dawson has also been associated with many prize-winning films including "Head and Heart" by James Mannas and "Capoeiras of Brazil" by Warrington Hudlin. He has worked as a consultant for the Cooper Hewitt Museum, International Center for Photography, Lincoln Center, Ralph Appelbaum Associates and three different divisions of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
James Hatch (The Graduate Center and City College) is a Ph.D. in Theatre, University of Iowa. Professor Hatch is Co-founder/Administrator of the Hatch-Billops Collection, Inc., and archive of African American Cultural Arts, a not-for-profit Research Library chartered under the New York State Board of Regents. The Collection's major public program, "Artist and Influence," has published 25 volumes of minority artists lives. Copies of the journal series can be found in the Mina Rees Library at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
He is an author of several volumes of African American theatre history and is also a play and screen-writer whose work has won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and two Obie Awards.
Poet David Henderson was a founder of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s. He has been an active member of New York's Lower East Side art community for more than four decades.
Henderson has published four volumes of poetry, and his work has appeared in numerous literary publications and anthologies. He authored 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky: the life of Jimi Hendrix.
Nikki Johnson is photographer based in New York. She earned a Masters degree in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, and a BFA at Mississippi University for Women.
In 2005, Johnson was the first photographer to receive a residency at The Henry Street Settlement's Artist in Residence program.
Aoibheann Sweeney earned her B.A. at Harvard University, where she won the John Harvard Scholarship and Elizabeth Carey Agassiz Award, and her MFA at the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She has been a resident fellow at the MacDowell Colony and at Yaddo. She has written book reviews for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, and The Village Voice Literary Supplement.
She is currently director of the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.