The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens presents a Commemoration Celebration on Tuesday, June 24 at 6:30 p.m. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, The Cummer will host the Gospel ensemble, The Sanders Singers featuring Mama Blue. Enjoy a special musical performance, including a rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing, as well as inspiring words from Alton Yates about the importance of the visual arts during this unsettled period in American history. This performance is in connection with A Commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement: Photography from the High Museum of Art, on view at The Cummer through November 2, 2014.
Eloquently dubbed the “Sultry Sister of Soul”, Mama Blue is captivating, grounded and real. Her gifted voice and stage presence is uplifting, unforgettable and addictive! Insightful lyrics and renditions, coupled with old-school sophistication will take you back to a simpler time when music was alive. Her unique sound is reminiscent of legends such as Nina Simone, Tina Turner, Etta James and Aretha Franklin, and fuses elements of blues and jazz with hints of Motown, classical, Latin and even a bit of country. A native of Jacksonville, Mama Blue graduated from the prestigious Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and earned a talent scholarship to Jacksonville University. Majoring in vocal performance, she has since ventured forth to live performances across the southeastern US and Europe.
Alton W. Yates is originally from Jacksonville’s LaVilla Park Neighborhood. He earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Studies from Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, and is a Yale University/Ford Foundation Graduate National Urban Fellow. Yates received high praise while serving in the U.S. Air Force at the Aeromedical Field Laboratory. He returned to Jacksonville in 1959 to find the city in desperate need of desegregation. Yates joined the National Association for the Advanced of Colored People Youth Council and became actively involved in the civil rights movement in Jacksonville. He was with the NAACP group on the occasion known as Axe Handle Saturday in August 1960. Yates has continued his dedicated service since the 1960s, serving the city of Jacksonville as administrative assistant, the Florida Anti-Poverty Agency, and the Florida Air National Guard. His drive for human dignity within the city of Jacksonville has given him the opportunity to contribute to its growth since the civil rights movement.
Join The Cummer for this special program honoring the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. The event will take place in Hixon Auditorium. It is free to the public and no reservations are needed. For more information, please call 904.356.6857.