On November 14, Indiana University's African American Arts Institute proudly presents the 27th annual Potpourri of the Arts in the African American Tradition at the IU Auditorium, beginning at 3:00 p.m. The Potpourri is a yearly celebration of Black music, dance, and culture featuring three unique student ensembles—the African American Dance Company, the African American Choral Ensemble, and the IU Soul Revue. Additionally, the 2021 Potpourri will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the IU Soul Revue, America's first and finest collegiate Black popular music ensemble since 1971.
Charles Sykes, executive director of the African American Arts Institute, reflects on not having an in-person Potpourri in the past two years. "We were faced with the challenge to continue creating, performing, and teaching, by virtual means, which seemed next to impossible given the singing, playing, moving, and interacting that defines what we do at the AAAI. But we have been successful in producing a series of virtual performance events. The success of these and other AAAI virtual events speaks to the talent and dedication of our students, directors, and staff, and the loyalty and enthusiasm of our audiences."
Raymond Wise, director of the African American Choral Ensemble, stated. "One of the unique aspects of African American performance that stems from the African tradition is the performance's collective and interactive nature. The relationship between audience and performer demands that the audience be more than a respectful listener but an active participant."
Wise goes on to say that having been away from performing live for almost two years, students have not had the unique opportunity to share their gifts and receive an immediate response from an audience."It will be so invigorating for the ensembles to once again receive the responses from a live audience and create memorable moments and memories together," Wise said. "This concept is a key part of their educational and artistic experience."
"The Potpourri of the Arts in the African American Tradition is a remarkable celebration of the tradition of African American performance and of IU's deeply held commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive environment for us all," James Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs, said. "This event captures the essence of that commitment — celebrating the cultures and communities of all who call Indiana University their home."
To purchase tickets, please visit the IU Auditorium's website. For more information on the African American Arts Institute, please visit their website.