LifestyleMajor exhibitions highlight Black life and culture in 2023

Major exhibitions highlight Black life and culture in 2023

From Rihanna wowing crowds at the Super Bowl to hip-hop celebrating its 50th birthday, multiple allegations against Sean Combs, and several major exhibitions highlighting Black life and culture, 2023 was an exciting, and at moments controversial, time for the entertainment world.

50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop

The Smithsonian celebrated 50 years of hip-hop with a star-studded concert on the mall, interactive activities and a specialty food court based on important milestones in hip-hop.

Gladys Knight/ Betsch Cole National Medals 

Before getting National Medals in Arts and Humanities legends Gladys Knight and Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole talked to The Informer about the importance of empowering women.

Rihanna Super Bowl 

After a seven-year hiatus, Rihanna headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show, wowing crowds with some of her hit songs and revealing her second pregnancy. In May, Billboard announced Rihanna’s performance became the most-watched halftime show of all time, attracting more than 121 million viewers.    

Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour 

All around the globe, people flocked to see Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour, which according to the New York Times, generated about $4.5 billion for the American economy. She recently released a film version that made $21 million at the box office in its first week.

Juvenile Celebrates ‘Back That Thang Up’ 25th  Anniversary 

A tune that has surpassed its promise “to take over for the 99 and 2000s,” Juvenile’s hit song “Back That Thang Up,” has proven to be a musical treasure for more than two decades. The Louisiana rapper, along with producer Mannie Fresh, were honored with congressional proclamations for the song’s contribution to music and culture. 

Local Sign Interpreters Shine at  Roots Picnic 

An entire group of American Sign Language interpreters from the DMV region served as the official ASL team for performances during The Roots Picnic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Hana Sharif

Hana Sharif is the new artistic director of Arena Stage. Coming to D.C. from an artistic director position in St. Louis, Sharif told The Informer she has big plans to add to Arena’s 75-year history. 

Anacostia High School Students Co-Author Environmental Poetry Book

Anacostia High School students co-authored the book “Through My Anacostia Eyes: Environmental Problems and Possibilities.”

Milk & Honey Founder Chef Sammy Davis Jr.

Thompson Restaurants, owner of Milk & Honey in the DMV and other restaurants around the country, is expanding. Chef Sammy Davis Jr., who originally started Milk & Honey and still serves in leadership with Thompson Restaurants 

30th Anniversary of Bad Boy as Sean Combs Faces Sexual Assault Charges

Bad Boy Entertainment, one of the most significant labels in hip-hop history, celebrated 30 years in 2023. However, the four sexual assault suits against founder Sean “Diddy” Combs cast a pall over the company and threaten to end Combs’ illustrious career.

Top 10 Exhibits of 2023

The DMV was blessed with many significant exhibitions with works from Black and   African American artists. There was photography, statues, paintings and paper designs.

“RINGGOLD | SAAR: Meeting on the Matrix,” David C. Driskell Center/University of Maryland-College Park (Jan. 26 – May 22, 2023)

“We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC,” DC Public Library-MLK Branch (March 30, 2023- September 15, 2024) 

“DC Home Rule 50,” DC History Center (April 7-December 20, 2023) 

“Genesis: The African American Experience in Art,” Howard University Gallery of Art (March 13 – Nov. 30) 

 “One Life: Frederick Douglass,” Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (June 16, 2023 – April 21, 2024)

“I Dream a World, Pt. Two,” Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Feb. 10 – Sept. 10)

“Frank Stewart’s Nexus: An American Photographer’s Journey, 1960s to the Present,” The Phillips Collection (June 10 – Sept. 3)

“African Modernism in America 1947-67,” The Phillips Collection (Oct. 7- January 7, 2024) 

“Recent Acquisitions,” Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Nov.3 – October 27, 2024.

Oprah Winfrey Portrait Unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, National Portrait Gallery; Dec. 13 – Indefinitely

Source: Washington Informer

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