Article By Emma Ryan
From “Traveling While Black” to a scientific take on modern ballet, Georgia Tech Arts is offering a variety of engaging events to get you out of the lab and classroom this fall.
“The arts are a fount of creativity and innovation that allow us to enhance the work we’re doing on campus,” said Aaron Shackelford, director of Georgia Tech Arts. “But they’re also a source of well-being. The arts allow us to connect, reflect, experience, and feel, and that’s what makes you a successful student at Tech — and a successful person of the world.”
Read on for four fall arts events you'll want to add to your calendar.
- Traveling While Black VR Documentary. This is a documentary that revisits a time when traveling in America could be a life-or-death affair for a Black person. The film is inspired by The Green Book, which listed safe spaces for Black people to stay (used during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s). Viewers experience the documentary wearing Oculus headsets and sitting in a replica of booths at Ben’s Chili Bowl, a civil rights landmark in Washington, D.C. “This is the ultimate intersection of arts and technology,” Shackelford said. “Technology is deployed to tell these incredibly important stories in ways that would not normally be accessible in our everyday lives.” The documentary plays every hour on the hour from 12-7 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday, until Nov 12. Tickets are $6.
- Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre: InterActions. On Oct. 1 at 8 p.m., Atlanta’s Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre (TMBT) will take to the stage of the Ferst Center for the Arts for “InterActions,” an exploration of the intersections between neuroscience, A.I., and dance. The work is a collaboration between choreographer Troy Schumacher and scientists and researchers from Tech and Emory University. The artists, research scientists, and audience will participate in discussions accompanied by performances from the dancers of TMBT. “In this experience, the choreographer and the researcher are asking the same questions and presenting them in different ways,” Shackelford said, “Questions like ‘who are we?’ and ‘how do we move and think?’” Tickets are $10.
- Kaki King’s DATA NOT FOUND. Guitarist Kaki King is known not only for her virtuosic technique but also for the light and color projections that transform her performances from auditory to visual. On Oct. 23, King will return to the Ferst Center for a performance of “DATA NOT FOUND,” which incorporates her signature projection mapping with the audio-responsive technology that she uses to push the limits of her instrument. “Kaki is asking what the relationship is between the science and data that pervades our world, and who we are as human beings,” Shackelford said. “She is fascinated by the questions that are going to solve the problems of the world about who we are as humans, and how the data and technology that surrounds us shapes us.” Tickets are $10.
- Black Nativity. From Dec. 2-19, “Black Nativity” will present the story of the birth of Christ, told from the African-American perspective. Based on the work of Black poet and playwright Langston Hughes, the play incorporates dances from the African-American community, African costumes, and gospel music and spirituals. “Tech values having an equitable and inclusive space,” Shackelford said. “And 'Black Nativity' is one way to make our campus accessible to the larger community. It’s building the association of the school not as a walled research center but as an open place for the community to experience arts and creativity.” Tickets range from $35-$75.
To purchase tickets and for more information, visit arts.gatech.edu.