April's edition of Art After Dark puts the spotlight on both jazz and poetry for National Jazz and Poetry Month! Join us for an evening of arts and culture-centered conversation, performances and art making.

Program Schedule

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Cool Like That Jazz and Poetry Experience - Led by Boris "Bluz" Rogers

Drop in for a poetry writing and performance workshop. Inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and others, attendees will think, write and read their work in an intimate setting.

Boris "Bluz" Rogers has been unwavering in his quest to stretch the boundaries of poetry. He is an award winning poet having won three Emmy Awards, been a 2010 Southern Fried Poetry Slam winner, and is Slam Master and Coach of 2007, 2008 and 2018 National Poetry slam Championship team, Slam Charlotte.

A published author and recording artist, Rogers' poetry is universal, dismantling social, economic, and ethnic barriers reaching into the heart of the community where he is an active member. He has worked with several organizations such as CBS Radio, Disney, Raycom Sports, ESPN and SPEED TV, where he wrote and performed several intros for nationally televised shows for NASCAR. Rogers’ voice is a progressive tool used to foster transformation. Nowhere has his impact been more apparent than when he performed at the induction ceremony for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame opening and Rogers being, not only the first performer, but also the first African-American performer, was a historic event. His talent and voice has also been used by the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets. Rogers has shared the stage with many distinguished poets and recording artists ranging from Taylor Mali, and Nikki Giovanni, to Outkast, John Legend, and Pink Floyd, he devotes his time to his family, his wife, and children.

6:15 PM - 7:00 PM
Snippet of August Wilson’s Jitney

Experience a scene from the upcoming BNS production of August Wilson’s 1979 play, Jitney. Following the brief performance, actors and experts will lead a conversation about the importance of August Wilson as a playwright and the relevance of Jitney to modern-day Black America.

BNS Productions is a theater company that explores and shares the African-American experience with the masses.

6:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Guided Gallery Tour

Explore our exhibitions during this docent-led interactive tour.

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Vinyl 101 with Diggers’ Delight

Experience this interactive lecture featuring an introduction to vinyl records. Learn how to pick, play and care for records.


7:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Guided Gallery Tour

Explore our exhibitions during this docent-led interactive tour.

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
History of Jazz History of Jazz Featuring Kenya Templeton

Enjoy live music by local jazz vocalists and musicians.

Statesville, North Carolina native Kenya Templeton began performing in church as a soloist for both the children's and adult choirs at eight years old. Due to her excellent public speaking skills, she was enrolled in pageants where she won three titles and performed at fourteen state and regional pageants, including Miss North Carolina, Miss Dudley Teen World and Miss South Carolina. Templeton's first acting role was Ellie in Step on a Crack, where she received special recognition from the UNC Greensboro Theatre Department Director for her ability at such a young age. This experience parlayed into spending three seasons with the NC 4-H Performing Arts Troupe and traveling throughout the southeastern United States. Templeton has studied classical and jazz voice and has sung in the operas Elijah as the Angel, Nigra Sum Sed Formosa, Handel's Messiah and A Child is Born. Though mostly known for her vocal ability, Templeton also plays the flute, piano, bagpipes, piccolo, double bass and guitar. She was part of the Statesville Greyhound Grenadier Bagpipe Corp for two years, where she performed for North Carolina Governor James Martin's inaugural parade. Currently she is an ensemble member of On Q Performing Arts, a professional theatre company in Charlotte, North Carolina, and gigs throughout the state at various events and venues.

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
The Abstract Hands-On Art Workshop - Led by Bryan M. Wilson, MFA

Create your own mixed-media abstract art inspired by our newest exhibition.

8:15 PM - 9:30 PM
Images as Activism

Catch up with current Gantt Center artist-in-residence Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr. as he shares his experiences since the opening our commissioned exhibition Welcome to Brookhill. A Q&A session follows the talk.

8:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Guided Gallery Tour

Explore our exhibitions during this docent-led interactive tour.

9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
A Love Supreme to The Low End Theory

Live vinyl set of Jazz-inspired hip hop and the samples that made the songs we love. Vinyl soundtrack by Diggers Delight.

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