Performing Arts

Carolina Performing Art’s New Season Includes The Steep Canyon Rangers, Tift Merritt, and the Opportunity to Talk to Some Strangers

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Earlier today, Carolina Performing Arts announced another thoughtful  performance season, picking up the thread of “CPA at Home,” its streaming series launched last March at the onset of COVID-19. The events, which will take place in February and March, will be followed by the April–June event season, which will be announced at a later date. 

The Spring includes two episodes of “The Spark with Tift Merritt,” CPA’s livestream partnership with the local singer-songwriter Tift Merritt. On February 11, Merritt will go behind-the scenes with the musician and Silkroad Ensemble collaborator Sandeep Das, followed by a March 18 event with Merritt and the Durham dancer and choreographer Hope Boykin. Previously, Merritt has hosted livestream discussions and interviews with luminaries like Abigail Washburn, Carlos Henriquez, and Flutronix. 

The performance season continues with a February 25 concert video performance of Wynton Marsalis, alongside the Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet, of The Democracy! Suite, a composition written by Marsalis last year amid COVID-19, as a response to the “political, social, and economic struggles facing our nation.” Beginning Monday, March 1 and closing Sunday, March 14, CPA will host 600 HIGHWAYMEN (the experimental duo (Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone), a participatory connective exercise that the New YorkTimes described as a way, in an isolated time, to explore the “complexity of someone else’s humanity.”

Closing out February and March’s events is a concert video by North Carolina bluegrass favorites, The Steep Canyon Rangers

Over the next few weeks, Carolina Performing Arts will also be bringing to a close the second edition of the Commons Festival, a “roundtable series for arts workers,” that has also carried on a second life as an arts criticism partnership with the INDY Week. (You can read profiles and performance critiques of CPA featured artists Anthony “Ay-Jaye” Nelson, Johnny Lee Chapman III, Eternal the M.C., and Ayanna Albertson here.)

A continuation of that performing arts mission also lives on in another course of Audience Advocates, CPA’s free-by-application learning series intended to “democratize access to arts learning”; this spring’s course features the choreographer Faye Driscoll and arts organization Culture Mill. 


Follow Deputy Arts & Culture Editor Sarah Edwards on Twitter or send an email to [email protected]

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