Past productions of Voices in the Dark

Amistad Research Center celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a stunning multimedia show

Amistad Research Center celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a stunning multimedia show

See the video here.

Oct 14, 2016 Updated Jul 7, 2021



To mark its 50th anniversary, the Amistad Research Center organized an ambitious celebration to mark the occasion. The center asked Tommye Myrick and Deacon John Moore to go through its archives to find pieces -- art, literary, music, spoken word -- that would serve as inspiration for producing a unique multimedia experience for gala guests.
On Sept. 30, the duo delivered with "An Evening at the Chapel: Here I Found a Goldmine," a production in two acts at Dillard University's Lawless Memorial Chapel featuring Norman Robinson as the emcee, Jyna Tilton the narrator, and the Deacon John Moore Orchestra along with actors, dancers, vocalists, and musicians.
Among the 17 performance pieces were: John Quincy Adams argument before the Supreme Court in 1841, spoken by Jim Holmes, accompanied with music by Bamboula 2000; "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a poem by James Weldon Johnson, arranged by John Rosamond Johnson, performed by Deacon John Orchestra and Dillard University Vision Quest Choir with the audience singing along; Zora Neale Hurston's Letter to Countee Cullen, March 5, 1943, spoken by Gwendolyn Foxworth, accompanied by Deacon John Orchestra performing "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" by Charles Mingus; and Motherland, performed by Bamboula 2000 featuring the Silhouette Dance Ensemble.
Just after Act II started, Amistad Executive Director Kara Olidge and Amistad Board President Kim Boyle went on stage to thank the audience and reinforce the mission of the center: "The time is now to make Amistad great," said Boyle.
Amistad supporters included the event's grand sponsors, Alan and Sherry Leventhal, and Donna and Paul Flower, as well as Dr. Norman C. Francis, Rhesa and Alden McDonald, Karen and Henry Coaxum, Deborah Augustine Elam, Cary Grant, Sybil Morial, Linda and Dr. Charles C. Teamer, Dr. Andrea Green Jefferson, A.P. Tureaud, Jaimme Collins, Luche and Lance Query, Hon. Terri Love and Ellria Love, Alanah and Dr. Corey Hebert, Vonda and Charles Rice, Elizabeth Williams, Ron Wilson, Dr. Roseanne Adderley, Tiffany and Brandon Davis, Hon. Michael Bagneris and Madelyn Bagneris, Hon. Tiffany Chase, Miriam Ortique, Pam and Wayne Lee, Imani Miller, Mark Cunningham, Adria Kimbrough and Dillard University President Dr. Walter Kimbrough, who co-chaired the celebration with Tulane University President Mike Fitts. The event's patron party was held at the Tulane president's home on Sept. 22; Tulane is also where the center has been located since 1987.