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Thursday, May 23, 2024

CAM debuts free performance series in USCT Park

As part of the park’s opening, CAM is hosting the Sundown Performance Series once a month on Thursdays in March, April and May. It’s free for the public. (Port City Daily/Alexandria Sands Williams)

WILMINGTON — The local art museum is preparing to bring in multifaceted talent for its new series hosted outdoors in the USCT Park.

The park opened last year surrounding Stephen Hayes’ “Boundless” sculpture. The permanent art installation honors the United States Colored Troops who fought for their freedom in the Battle of Forks Road, an historic site located on Cameron Art Museum’s grounds.

READ MORE: CAM celebrates 60 years, opens first USCT Park to honor Black soldiers

As part of the park’s opening, CAM is hosting the Sundown Performance Series once a month on Thursdays in March, April and May. It’s free for the public and homes in on varied voices and talents not often given a stage, particularly to shed light on their cultural impact in the region.

CAM noted in a release it will “connect art and social justice,” as presented by TD Bank.

Cultural curator Daniel Jones compares the program’s performers and communities to the resiliency celebrated in “Boundless.”

“The drummer of the USCT played the cadence for the soldiers to march to and we will continue what they started by playing and singing our own tunes,” he said in a press release, highlighting local and regional performers “who will use their gifts to share and spread awareness on topics important to them and their communities.”

Christa Faison, a classical violinist, will perform the first free show at CAM’s Sundown Performance Series on March 30. (Courtesy photo)

The series takes place Thursdays, 7 p.m., starting March 30. Violinist Christa Faison will perform a selection of gospel classics and other tunes. Faison, a Wilmingtonian, is a minister, musician and educator, who graduated from UNCW with a bachelor’s in music education a decade ago.

She has performed in the UNCW String Ensemble and is a member of the Wilmington Symphony and Tallis Chamber Orchestras, Port City Music Festival, and Arbor String Trio. Faison also has local connections through multiple arts events, including Cucalorus Film Festival, Hurricane Florence Relief Benefit Concert and New Hanover County’s Arts Benefit CD, the latter produced by Trent Harrison and Hourglass Studios.

On April 27, 7 p.m., the acoustic ensemble BalaKora will perform West African Sosso-Bala and Kora instruments. The 21-stringed Kora — a circular instrument, similar in appearance to a banjo crossed with a stand-up bass — is the ancestor of the harp. Its aural compositions are played by plucking the strings. The balafon, a xylophone-like instrument associated with the symbol of freedom, is the basis for the modern marimba. The performance includes driving beats and calls on the audience for responses, making the show an immersive experience.

May 27, CAM will welcome Kevin Locklear Melvin and the Lumbee Tribe to close the spring season of performances. Melvin, a cultural historic preservation officer for the Lumbee Tribe, will speak alongside a musical performance with a tribal member.

Beer, wine and a selection of light bites will be available for purchase at CAM Cafe during show nights. The CAM will release fall performances as well.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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