gun violence takes center stage at theatrical arts performances in South Florida

June 21, 2018 (Ft. Lauderdale) - This summer, Art Prevails Project, a Broward-based multi-disciplinary arts organization, is using the creative arts to dig deep into the effects of gun violence – particularly how it impacts families, friends, victims and communities. Beyond the news headlines, marches, Instagram likes and celebrity tweets, the artistic performance aims to address what happens when the gun powder settles after senseless acts of violence.

Curated by local writer/director Darius V. Daughtry, The Happening: A Theatrical Mixtape, Volume II is an annual collection of vignettes addressing socio-political issues. It is a carefully crafted artistic experience weaving drama, poetry, music, and dance to make you think, feel, and move. And, for the first-time ever, The Happening: A Theatrical Mixtape, Volume II will expand to include a community forum and art exhibit.

“Florida has witnessed two of the top ten deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history, not to mention two South Florida cities were recently ranked in the top five of the deadliest cities in the nation,” said Darius V. Daughtry, Founder/Artistic Director, Art Prevails Project. “This production was created to spark conversation towards change. Through drama, dance, visual arts and more, local South Florida artists are creating a space for people to learn, discuss, grow and take action.”

The Happening’s series of activities include -

The Happening: A Theatrical Mixtape, Volume II

Saturday, July 28, 6:30 p.m.

African American Research Library & Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

This is must-see theatrical performance that weaves drama, poetry, music and dance in a web of vignettes addressing socio-political issues. Local artists, including Marnino Toussaint and JaShae Jones, will take center stage. The performance is written and directed by Darius V. Daughtry. Tickets are available at www.artprevailsproject.com. Cost: $25 in advance; $35 at the door.

The Happening: A Visual Arts Perspective

Monday, July 2 – Tuesday, July 31

South Florida Symphony, 2201 Wilton Drive, Suite 12, Wilton Manors, FL

Some of the most dynamic contemporary artists in South Florida are using visual arts to share their perspective on social justice and equality. The exhibit, which is curated by Chire (VantaBlack) Regans, a visual artist and activist who has committed much of her work to memorializing victims of gun violence, will include various media, including woodwork, charcoal and acrylic painting and more. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

What’s Happening? A Community Conversation

Saturday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.

South Florida Symphony, 2201 Wilton Drive, Suite 12, Wilton Manors, FL

In this public conversation, community members, activists, artists and law enforcement officials will have a frank discussion about violence and the role of activism.  Community residents are encouraged to join the conversation, where they’ll also have the chance to experience live performances. This event is free and open to the public.

Student Showcase

Friday, July 27, 2:00 p.m.

Students in local summer camps and the juvenile justice system will get an advanced peek at The Happening: A Theatrical Mixtape, Volume II. This free event, which is closed to the public, is sponsored in part by the Children’s Services Council, and will feature a full theatrical performance and artist talk back, including open dialogue with students.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://thehappening.splashthat.com/.

in honor of national poetry month

Stay right where you are as soldiers
Not yet old enough to buy cigarettes
But bold enough to burn this system to the ground
Take hold of the wheel and steer it.
You smell that, it’s change.
You fear it.
What’s that sound?
Sounds like the walls of Jericho tumbling down
You hear it.
Smell it.
It smells like revolution.
Like resentment.
Like retribution.
It feels like right.
Like right now.
Like fight now.
Like bullet shells melded to make monuments to movement.
Move with or be moved.
By force.
The correct course of action is plainly apparent.
But sometimes, the child has to teach the parents.
Harsh realities from the mouths of babes.
Cubs.
Lions roaring.
Ignoring decorum in favor of results.  
Never again.
It’s time.
Times up.
Me too.
Black Lives Matter
Do lives matter to you?  

An excerpt of "Young Cubs" by Darius Daughtry