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HARLEM RENAISSANCE WEEKEND - Ayo Scott's Painting and Taariq David's custom cocktail

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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.

February’s Harlem Renaissance Weekend will begin on Friday, February 3 at 4PM with the unveiling of Artist Ayo Scott’s painting commemorating the Harlem Renaissance. From as early as he can remember, Scott found himself immersed in the art community of his city, New Orleans. He grew to love the studio time he spent with his father, artist John T. Scott: 40-year professor of art and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. He never felt pressured to be an artist, but his family always provided him with opportunity, guidance and support for his endeavors from bronze casting to papermaking.

Celebrity mixologist Taariq David’s custom cocktail honoring the Harlem Renaissance will be available at the Hall's cash/credit bar from 4PM to 5PM. Stirring or shaking up adult beverages comes easily for David, who lives in Water Valley with his wife and four daughters. He is a regular participant in Iron Bartender, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s answer to Iron Chef. Local bartenders compete to create the best alcoholic beverage from ingredients made available to them, and winners are named for a People’s Choice award and a Judges’ Choice award.

The doors open at 4 and is free to the public to view Ayo Scott's painting and purchase a Harlem Renaissance cocktail custom created by Taariq David. The unveiling is free to the public, but event coordinators ask that attendees secure a free ticket online at https://the100menhall.com/products/unveiling-of-ayo-scotts-harlem-renaissance-and-taariq-davids-custom-cocktail to make sure adequate parking is available. The doors close at 5PM to reopen at 5:30 for the ticketed Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.

The eclectic, three-day event will include a murder mystery dinner theater, costume gala, dance 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.