Dr. Phillips Center Celebrates Black History Month with Rich Array of Events

Dr. Phillips Center Celebrates Black History Month with Rich Array of Events 


- Shows include Voices of Freedom: An Evening of Spoken Word with Shawn Welcome, Ben Tankard, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and 7th Annual MLK Concert The Promised Land -


- Orlando’s Poet Laureate leads a residency program with Evans High School and Jones High School for the Evening of Spoken Word 


- Updated health and safety guidelines available for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances - 


- Guests encouraged to support Second Harvest Food Bank for City of Orlando’s 7th Annual MLK Concert -


- Arts center partners with Orange County Regional History Center for Third Thursday Orlando event series in partnership with the Downtown Arts District and City District -


ORLANDO, Fla. (February 9, 2022) – The Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts is dedicated to being a platform for its vision, Arts For Every Life®, and will continue honoring African American history through Black History Month with a rich array of free and ticketed events at the new Steinmetz Hall and Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater in February. 


The celebration starts with Voices of Freedom: An Evening of Spoken Word on Friday, February 11. As the name suggests, performance poems are meant to be spoken aloud with expression and movement that reflect their meaning. These wordsmiths will join Orlando’s Poet Laureate, Shawn Welcome, and emerging local high school talents from Evans High School and Jones High School for a rarely seen and heard 90-minute interactive showcase that will solidify anyone’s definition of spoken word poetry. The free event in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater will conclude a weeklong residency with the high schools. It will amplify creative voices as it relates to justice, self-identity and other social issues worthy of an artistic response. Guests are encouraged to fill out an interest form to attend. 


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Powerteens Inc. will present A Night of Love: Featuring Ben Tankard. The Father of Gospel Jazz will perform charts from his latest album titled ‘Shine’ on Saturday, February 12. Tankard, who is well known in the jazz world, has been given titles from the Quincy Jones of Gospel to the Father of Gospel Jazz. 
He has won 16 Stellar Awards, is a Stellar Award Honors Hall of Fame inductee, was nominated for a 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album and has 10 Dove Award nominations, 3 Grammy® Award nominations, a Soul Train Award nomination and is one of the best-selling Gospel Jazz instrumentalists in the world. 


In late February, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform both new and classic works in Steinmetz Hall on the 22nd and 23rd, including his signature masterpiece “Revelations,” an exuberant piece inspired by the Black churchgoing tradition.


The dance group grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. That performance, led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African American modern dancers changed the perception of American dance forever. Today, the company continues Ailey’s mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning new ones. They have performed for an estimated 25 million people in 38 states and 71 countries on six continents, as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings and online platforms.


Guests can expect updated health and safety protocols, including showing a negative COVID test result or, alternatively, proof of vaccination, in addition to wearing masks inside the venue at all times for this show. Guests are encouraged to visit the website to read all requirements at DrPhillipsCenter.org/Events/Tickets/2022/AlvinAiley.


On Sunday, February 27, Steinmetz Hall is partnering with the City of Orlando to present its first free community event since its debut for Orlando Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s 7th Annual MLK Concert The Promised Land


The commission will be produced and directed by Grammy® Award-winner Dr. Jeffery Redding with Dr. Kelly Miller and Dr. Terrance Lane. It will feature UCF Gospel Singers, UCF University Singers, UCF Women’s Choir, Orlando Choral Society, Garden Choir, Voci del Coure, Jones High School, Evans High School, Tuskawilla United Methodist Church, Naguanda Miller-Nobeles Soprano and more. 


Guests are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item, which will help support Second Harvest Food Bank. Donation bins will be available upon arrival. An interest form is available for guests to express interest in attending.


Outside of the venue, Dr. Phillips Center is proud to partner with the Downtown Arts District and City District to expand its Third Thursday Orlando event series with the Orange County Regional History Center. This month’s event on February 17 will celebrate Black History Month by acknowledging African American creatives in Central Florida with a “Black Artisan Affair.” From 6-9 p.m., this community event will feature 15 Black-owned businesses, live music and art, local food trucks and gallery hop. For more information, please visit DowtownArtsDistrict.com/3rd-Thursday-Gallery-Hop.


Show and event details: 

  • Voices of Freedom: An Evening of Spoken Word – Friday, February 11, 2022 | Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater | 7 p.m.

**Part of the arts center’s Freedom Series, supported by TD Bank, which celebrates African American artists and showcases diversity in the arts.

  • A Night of Love: Featuring Ben Tankard – Saturday, February 12, 2022 | Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater | 7 p.m. 
  • Third Thursday Orlando – Thursday, February 17, 2022 | Heritage Square Park, 65 East Central Boulevard Orlando, FL 32801 | 6-9 p.m.
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Tuesday & Wednesday, February 22 & 23, 2022 | Steinmetz Hall | 7:30 p.m.

**Part of the art center’s Dance Series.

  • The Promised Land – Sunday, February 27, 2022 | Steinmetz Hall | 6 p.m.


Guests can purchase tickets and submit interest forms for these shows by visiting DrPhillipsCenter.org


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