|Russell L. Goings|
Funding for Arts Month: On Q Performing Arts Goes ‘Behind The Dream’ with staged reading of epic work on the Black experience in America
CHARLOTTE, NC—The theater company On Q Performing Arts, Inc. kicks off its fifth season this week with a presentation of the Griot song, The Children of Children Keep Coming by Russell L. Goings. Founded in 2006 by Quentin Talley, On Q Performing Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit theater company, based in Charlotte, NC, dedicated to educating and producing classic, contemporary, and original performance works that reflect the Black experience.
A breathtaking form of poetic expression, The Children of Children Keep Coming chronicles the African American experience in the United States. Goings’ book was published in 2009 and On Q Performing Arts has adapted the work for the stage and will premiere a staged reading as the opening of Season 5: Behind The Dream. The Children of Children Keep Coming is strung together—by poetry and prose, blues and gospel, hymns and jazz, work songs and prayers. “It’s not about me, it’s about our ancestors. We, as human beings, our destinies are to enrich. Seems to me that this is the most important thing to do,” says Goings.
Inspiration for The Children of Children came from felt-pen and watercolor drawings by the artist Romare Bearden, a dear friend of Goings, that depict key figures of the Black narrative. Bearden believed the epic struggle of Black people needed to be told in a worthy form and charged Goings with the task. Goings, after having cared for Bearden until his death in 1988, he returned to school in the mid-1990s to study writing and to begin fulfilling Bearden’s dream.
Prior to performances of The Children of Children, which run October 3-5 at Spirit Square, On Q will feature Goings in a moderated conversation at the Gantt Center on October 2 at 6:00 pm. Titled Finance to Fine Art, the discussion with Goings will be moderated by James T. Barber of Kravis Barber Group. The quintessential Renaissance man, Goings is a Wall Street pioneer, celebrated art collector, former pro athlete, founder of Essence magazine and the first Black chairman of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Tickets for the October 2nd conversation with Goings are $5 and available for advance purchase here. Included is a pre-event tour of the Kinsey Collection at 5:30 pm as well as a post-event book signing with Goings.
Theater seats for the On Q production of The Children of Children Keep Coming are $15 and are available here.
Contributed by Valaida Fullwood
Described an “idea whisperer,” Valaida brings unbridled imagination and a gift for harnessing wild ideas to her work as a writer and project strategist. She is a founding member of Charlotte’s New Generation of African American Philanthropists and author of “Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.” She also serves on the board of On Q Performing Arts, Inc. For more, follow valaida.com, @ValaidaF and @BlkGivesBackCLT.