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Art Exhibit in Goess Kicks Off Full Schedule of Black History Month Activities at PCC

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College’s celebration of Black History Month got an early start this year with the opening of the 8th Annual PCC Black History Art Exhibition in the Craig F. Goess Student Center on Friday.

The juried exhibition, organized by the college’s Fine Arts Department and the PCC Multicultural Activities Committee, will be on public display in Goess through Feb. 28. PCC Outreach Specialist Jermaine McNair will serve as the competition’s juror.

Much of the exhibit, according to PCC Associate in Fine Arts Coordinator Charity Valentine, is comprised of photographs taken by members of her (Traditional) Photography II course. She said the assignment was particularly difficult because it required students to develop a concept behind their images and write an artist statement explaining it.

“This project was specifically designed to push them outside of their comfort zones and learn more about the community in which they live,” Valentine said. “They ended up creating some incredible work, with concepts ranging from local black history landmarks, to examining the richness of African-American culture, to illustrating how we can create a strong community through dialogue and understanding.”

A reception to announce the winners of this year’s exhibit is scheduled for Feb. 27, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Goess Student Center’s Walter and Marie Williams Dining Room. But before that takes place, PCC has a number of activities planned in conjunction with the nation’s observance of Black History Month (BHM).

On Feb. 1, the college will hold “Harlem Renaissance: Music, Poets, Entertainment, Politics and Culture” in the Goess Student Center’s Davenport Multipurpose Room, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In addition to a spoken word performance that includes a live painting demonstration, the program will feature a tap dance routine by Katura Dance Academy students, musical selections by the PCC Jazz Band, and a presentation by Joshua Burney, an inspirational speaker and coach/trainer with Spoken Solutions.

After a showing of the movie, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” and a related cell culture lab activity by biotechnology students and their counterparts from various science courses on Feb. 2, there will be a Feb. 7 discussion on “Mental Health in the African-American Community.”

The workshop, set for 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Williams Dining Room, will seek to dispel preconceptions about homelessness, food insecurities, substance abuse, urban post-traumatic stress disorder, and mental health disparities within the black community.

BHM activities continue Feb. 8 with “Bridging the Gap,” a “critical and courageous conversation” concerning police relations and the African-American community. It will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Davenport Multipurpose Room.

On Feb. 20, the PCC Symphony Orchestra will perform music by La Chevalier Saint-Georges – considered ‘Black Mozart’ by many – at 7 p.m. in Greenville’s Koinonia Christian Church. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will also include performances by PCC Elements of Praise and the Greenville Mass Gospel Choir.

Rounding out Pitt’s Black History Month slate will be “Joshua ‘Fit’ the Battle” on Feb. 28 in the Williams Dining Room. The event, scheduled to take place from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., will feature PCC History Instructor Anthony Dunn discussing the dynamics of African-American participation in times of war.

Dunn’s presentation correlates with this year’s national Black History Month theme: “African Americans in Times of War.” Throughout February, programs across the country will honor black men and women who have served in the nation’s armed forces, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice in America’s defense.