Artistic evolution is ongoing, sometimes happening in big, bold endeavors. Other times forward motion happens slowly, quietly, the act of rest creating revolution in its own way.
For OFP Theatre and Productions, it was the act of allowing The Signature: A Poetic Medley to rest after a decade that gave way to new projects and new focus for this important art event.
The Signature returns to Dayton this summer for two shows. The first is a more traditional event, on July 28, the Signature will present a free, open-to-the public pop-up performance at the Levitt Pavilion Dayton in the heart of downtown Dayton, as part of the venue’s part of the 2019 Eichelberger Concert Series. Internationally known performance artist and educator Sunni Patterson and two-time Grammy winner Timothy Bloom will headline.
“To have a free pop-up at the Levitt Pavilion Dayton allows us to serve our local community in a new and different way to celebrate urban creative arts in the heart of the city. And, hopefully, to expose a curious community to something they don’t even know they’re interested in,” says Sierra Leone,
The second performance brings The Signature to the new PNC Arts Annex on August 16. This event will combine literary poets with spoken word artists for a presentation of poetry, including state poet laureate Dave Lucas.
“We hope to bring in students, young people, writers and performing artists of all ages from different communities in support of poetry and the literary arts,” says Leone. “You’ll experience modern, urban spoken word, griot and heritage methods of poetry right next to poets who work in very traditional meter and rhythm – these are people and forms who don’t often get the opportunity to inhabit the same space, but events like this aim to close the gap so poets feel more comfortable standing side by side.”
This performance is the culminating event of a three-phase initiative supported by the Ohio Arts Council that aims to help poets hone and develop their skills as arts practitioners and professionals, going beyond the simple currency of applause and exploring viable options for poets and other artists to live as professionals in the state.
“For so long, our currency has been applause,” says Leone who lead this effort. “We want our currency to be actual value. We want people in our community to see actual value in poetry and for poets to feel empowered to work as professional artists.”
“We realized that we had two or three audiences within one experience. We can now do the work and figure out how to pinpoint and create impact within those audiences with work that resonates with them.”
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