Past Event July 10, 2021 / 7:00pm – 9:00pm
La Femme Noire
La Femme Noire: The Celebrated Womxn is an artistic celebration of African-American womxn and the contributions they have made to classical music as composers, poets, and performers.
Jayme Alilaw’s lush and vibrant soprano voice, working collaboratively with B.E. Boykin’s artistry at the piano will be highlighted by poetry and neatly woven together through the narration of Alexandria Sweatt and guest poet Theresa Tha Songbird. This evening tells the story of Black Girl Magic personified!
Featured composers include:
-Betty Jackson King
-Undine Smith Moore
Featured poets include:
-Theresa tha Songbird
-Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
All Visitors are required to wear a mask. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of 2.
Visitors are expected to follow health guidelines on social distancing, maintaining at least 6 feet apart at all times. Atlanta Contemporary has designated maximum capacity for the galleries and project spaces as well as indicated traffic flow. View the safety guidelines here.
Performances will be outside on the open-air Pavilion. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and consider bringing a water bottle.
California-born soprano Jayme Alilaw is celebrated for her lush and vibrant tone throughout operatic, classical, and musical theater repertoires, and is a fierce advocate for the performance of works by African American composers. Operatically, Ms. Alilaw is equally at home in traditional and contemporary repertoire. Most recently, Jayme performed the role of Alice Bolden in the digital premiere of Jeff Crompton’s Buddy Bolden, The Opera. Previously as a Resident Artist with The Atlanta Opera, Jayme sang lead roles in their community outreach tours, and represented the company in collaborations with various Atlanta-based arts organizations, including The High Museum, The Alliance Theater, Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and Dad’s Garage Theater Company. As a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, Jayme frequently sang for military ceremonies throughout the United States and Middle East.Driven by a deep passion for traditional Negro spirituals, Jayme has produced concerts and won awards for her research recitals on African American composers, including La Femme Noire. Jayme enjoys collaborating across artistic mediums as a means of creative innovation and providing a voice for social justice. She has performed musical responses to photography exhibits and in the facilitation of discussion about mental health and mental illness awareness. Ms. Alilaw continues to challenge musical boundaries, and be a vocal proponent of works by African American composers.
Composer, Conductor and Pianist, Brittney Boykin (B.E. Boykin), is a native of Alexandria, VA. After graduating from Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in Music, Ms. Boykin continued her studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. In addition to her studies, she also composed music during her time at Westminster and was awarded the R & R Young Composition Prize just a few months shy of graduating. In May of 2013, Ms. Boykin graduated from Westminster Choir College with a M.M. in Sacred Music with a concentration in choral studies.
Ms. Boykin has been featured as the conductor/composer-in-residence for the 2017 Harry T. Burleigh Commemorative Spiritual Festival at Tennessee State University. Her most recent professional endeavors include being the Guest Director for the 2019 Jimmy Mills Heritage Festival, as well as the featured Composer/Conductor for the 2019 Atlanta Music Project Black History Month Concert. Ms. Boykin’s instrumental and choral works are currently being published and distributed through her own publishing company, Klavia Press. She is currently pursuing a PhD with an emphasis in Music Education from Georgia State University.
Born and raised in Louisville, KY Alexandria Sweatt is known for her bubbly personality and bringing authenticity to all of her performances.
Sweatt began her journey as an actress and creative in middle school and continued her studies at the Youth Performing Arts School, Governor’s School for the Arts, Indiana University Southeast and most recently she studied the Meisner Technique at The Robert Mello Studio.
After graduating from Indiana University Southeast in 2014, Alexandria Sweatt joined the 2015-2016 ArtReach tour with The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati.
In 2016, Sweatt moved to Atlanta, GA were she continued her journey as an artist. These days she can be found doing historical reenactment, sketch comedy shows with local sketch groups, commercials or being one of the hosts for the comedy podcast Funniest People I Know.
Musical, lyrical, theatrical alchemist, sprinkling magic, and hot sauce on every microphone she touches Theresa tha SONGBIRD is a supernatural wellspring of entertainment. Hailing from the south suburbs of Chicago, and calling Atlanta home Theresa is dedicated to increasing the accessiblity of arts and humanities to young people through her outreach in school systems across the country, and as a talent consultant/coach with her company, BIRD Media Enterprises. She’s had the honor of her poem You So Black going viral from her appearance on the 2019 Trumpet Awards on Bounce TV, racking up over 9 million views. She’s also recently graced the stage alongside the luminary talents of Jill Scott, MC Lyte, Rapsody, Jasmine Sullivan and appears on Robert Glasper’s newest album. Amidst running businesses and touring the globe Songbird self published her first book of poetry, MASS MATTER MAGIC, which is available on Amazon and stars in the spoken word musical 4 tha BIRDS, preparing to tour nation wide.
September 18 – September 19
Fall Exhibition Openings
Celebrate the openings of the new exhibition.
September 23 / 6:00pm
Join us for Discrit, a free art education initiative spanning lectures, screenings, workshops, and panels designed to foster lively conversation and speculation about contemporary art and culture.
September 26 / 12:00pm
A free and interactive family-friendly program, Contemporary Kids introduces children to contemporary art and artists through approachable media and hands-on activities.