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HARLEM RENAISSANCE WEEKEND - Richmond Barthé, a moveable mélange

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Bay Saint Louis, MS – Bay Saint Louis’ iconic 100 Men Hall will continue its year-long Centennial Year Celebration with its third event, Harlem Renaissance Weekend, February 3-5, 2023.

The weekend culminates when dance theater Mississippi (dtMS) presents a moveable mélange of artistic performance to introduce the genius of Richmond Barthé to a wider audience. The setting will be a Blues club within a Blues club, where Barthé’s ideals of individual dignity and belief in self come to life through a language that shines a light on human worth and love. This event, from 6 – 8 pm, is open to the public. There will be a cash/credit bar available but no food service.

Richmond Barthé is best known for his portrayal of Black subjects. The focus of his artistic work was portraying the diversity and spirituality of man. Born: January 28, 1901 in Bay Saint Louis, Barthé moved north in pursuit of training as an artist and eventually became associated with the Harlem Renaissance. He was one of the first African American artists to focus thematically on the lives of African Americans.

dance theater Mississippi (dtMS) has performed across the Gulf Coast making its Mississippi debut with Katrina Cottage, a performance that galvanized what it meant to be from a region shattered by natural forces while energized by hope. Other performances include Keepers of the Light, In My Father’s House, and A Shadow of Things to Come.

The eclectic, three-day event will include a murder mystery dinner theater, costume gala, moveable mélange of artistic performance, the unveiling of an 80 x 58” painting commemorating the Harlem Renaissance by Ayo Scott, a craft cocktail creation by Taariq David, and a commemorative, letterpress poster created by Kennedy Prints.

The Hall’s Centennial Year Celebration began with its June Ancestors Weekend that segued into October’s Chitlin Circuit weekend which, according to Rachel Dangermond, owner of 100 Men Hall, drew over 200 people to the dance floor when Deacon John & the Ivories performed.

February’s Weekend, says Dangermond, will continue to educate the general public about the amazing homegrown talent that sprung up from the African American community in this area. The weekend pays homage to Bay Saint Louis’ native Richmond Barthé, whose sculptures and paintings are considered among classic examples of Harlem Renaissance artistry. 

Throughout the weekend, attendees will be able to purchase a commemorative, letterpress poster created by Kennedy Prints with a quote from the Harlem Renaissance.  This is the third of four customized posters that Kennedy Prints has designed and is producing for the Centennial year, with copies of each to be donated to the archives of Mississippi Universities and Colleges.

Every event presented throughout the Centennial Year Celebration honors the Hall’s culturally rich history and upholds its current mission of educating Mississippi Gulf Coast residents and visitors about the venue’s significant contributions throughout its first hundred years. 

The year-long celebration is made possible by a grant from the MS Coast National Heritage Area. All programming updates, activity dates, times and ticket prices, sales and availability can be found on the 100 Men Hall’s website – the100menhall.com    

One additional Centennial Year event, The Rise of the DJ/Disco Weekend (June 16-19, 2023) will round out the year-long celebration, with specific details to be released closer to the event date, says Dangermond.