The Clark Presents the Free PraiseSong Film Series

For Immediate Release

June 09, 2011

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—As part of the Berkshire-wide arts festival Lift Ev’ry Voice: Celebrating African-American Culture & Heritage, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents the free PraiseSong film series, beginning with Cabin the Sky on Friday, June 24 at 4:00 pm, and continuing with Lady Sings the Blues; Say Amen, Somebody; Bird; and What’s Love Got to do With It?

The Films

Cabin in the Sky (1943, 99 min.)
Friday, June 24 at 4:00 pm
Cabin in the Sky was adapted from the stage by Vincente Minnelli in his first film directing job. Ethel Waters is the devoted wife for whom “Happiness is a Thing Called Joe,” while Lena Horne is the sultry songstress whose “Honey in the Honeycomb” leads Joe (Eddie “Rochester” Anderson) astray. Walk-on appearances by Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington make this film a rousing musical time capsule.

Lady Sings the Blues (1972, 144 min.)
Friday, July 1 at 4:00 pm
In Sidney J. Furie’s Lady Sings the Blues, Diana Ross portrays the legendary jazz artist Billie Holiday and pays homage to her passionate music. Based on Holiday's autobiography, this film captures the ups and downs of the performer's troubled life and unforgettable career. 

Say Amen, Somebody (1982, 100 min.)
Friday, July 8 at 4:00 pm
George Nierenberg’s stirring documentary is a tribute to modern gospel pioneers Willie Mae Ford Smith and Thomas A. Dorsey, and the many singers who were inspired by them.

Bird (1988, 160 min.)
Friday, July 15 at 4:00 pm
In Clint Eastwood’s respectful but candid biopic, Forest Whitaker inhabits the life and sound of legendary bebop saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker. Diane Venora portrays Chan Parker, the woman who stood by Bird throughout his career of astounding successes and devastating failures. Like the jazz it celebrates, Eastwood’s free-form film accumulates tremendous power.

What's Love Got to Do with It? (1993, 118 min.)
Friday, July 22 at 4:00 pm
In Brian Gibson's authorized but hard-edged portrait of a showbiz survivor, Angela Bassett struts her stuff as Tina Turner, while Laurence Fishburne simmers with sinister power as Turner's husband Ike.

Lift Ev’ry Voice: Celebrating African-American Culture and Heritage

Lift Ev’ry Voice: Celebrating African-American Culture and Heritage celebrates the diverse traditions of African-American community, arts and culture, history and heritage found within Berkshire County and across the nation. The rich history of the African American community in the Berkshires stretches from the War of Independence to the present day, including the second African American female astronaut, Stephanie Wilson; the legendary writer and activist W.E.B. Du Bois; Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, the first American slave to successfully sue for her freedom; and Reverend Harrison, who served as the chaplain to the legendary African American 54th Regiment of western Massachusetts in the Civil War and successfully fought for and won equal pay for black soldiers. Running from June 19 through July 23, Lift Ev’ry Voice will include a wide variety of programming throughout the Berkshires by participating arts and heritage organizations and groups.

The Clark

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Calendar Listing

June 24: As part of the Berkshire-wide arts festival Lift Ev’ry Voice: Celebrating African-American Culture & Heritage, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents the free PraiseSong film series, beginning with Cabin the Sky on Friday, June 24 at 4:00 pm, and continuing with Lady Sings the Blues; Say Amen, Somebody; Bird; and What’s Love Got to do With It? The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303, clarkart.edu.

Contact: 
pr@clarkart.edu

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