They Got the Power

Holly-Kai Hurd, art gallery curator at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, sees Black History Month as an opportunity. Her goal? First, to place the spotlight on a group of local black women who represent a spectrum of arts disciplines right here in our fine city. But -- and perhaps more important -- she hopes to draw youth into a discussion on the possibilities of a life in the arts, through the lives and work of six talented ladies.

To that end, she's hosting Bringing Forth Beauty: African American Women Create, a panel discussion and presentation with Lisa Grady-Willis, Helen Littlejohn, Lady Speech, Rosie Smith, Lea Chapman and Dannette Hollowell, women who work in a variety of cultural fields, from fine art and spoken word to dance, theater and even quilt-making.

"I'm hoping people will also bring their teens," Hurd says. "I'm sure there are a lot of little girls who are probably entertaining the idea, or are drawn to the idea of, working in the arts. But I don't feel like there's enough programming for them. I want these artists to offer them insight into what their journey has been. Kids need to have the opportunity to hear or talk to someone who's accessible to them, to see what they might look forward to and get perspective on it."

Regardless of your age, the afternoon promises to enrich; interact with the panel from 1 to 5 p.m. at the library, 2401 Welton Street. Admission is free; get information at or call 720-865-2401.
Sat., Feb. 25, 1-5 p.m., 2012