Here at Overture, we’re working hard to make sure that our organization is as welcoming, inclusive, and diverse as it can be.
Following the 2014 release of the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families’ Race to Equity Report on the state of racial disparities in Dane County, Overture was inspired to create and implement a rigorous, comprehensive, and measurable plan of action to affirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion in both our programming and within our workplace.
Overture has a responsibility to the community and to our stakeholders to ensure that what we see on the stage is truly a reflection of the society in which we live and the humanity that we share. Thus, with the backing of the Overture Center Foundation (OCF) Board of Directors and Overture President and CEO Ted DeDee, we have begun to implement our Racial Equality Initiative here at Overture.
To that end, Dr. Edward S. Holmes joined the Overture staff in 2016 as Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Since then, Dr. Holmes has conducted deliberate outreach to diverse communities of Madison, and created opportunities for young people to be a part of Overture audiences and engage with artists ranging from Patti LaBelle to Maraca & His Latin Jazz All Stars to Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
“We are just getting started,” said Dr. Holmes. “Using the arts as a catalyst for change isn’t something new, but using the full spectrum of resources of a performing arts center is a major step in promoting the conversation and change needed to create a better future for our young people.”
Black Violin: Classical Boom Tour
THU, MAY 3
Wil Baptiste (viola) and Kev Marcus (violin) bridge the gap between classical and hip-hop as they create hard-hitting beats with lush string sounds. Black Violin, who have collaborated with P. Diddy, Kanye West, Tom Petty and more, blend classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and bluegrass music. Live, they are accompanied by their band, featuring turntable whiz DJ SPS.
“Black Violin works hard, but makes it all look like play… Sometimes they play with the intense seriousness of orchestral soloists; at others they fiddle as if at a hoedown; at still others they strum the violin and viola like guitars.” – The New York Times
Dance Theatre of Harlem
TUE, MAY 8
Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem was considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (The New York Times, 1971). After four decades, they promise a thrilling program of neo-classical and contemporary ballet that is of the moment and timeless. With cutting-edge contemporary and ballet works to celebrate African American culture, the racially diverse dance artists carry a message of empowerment.
On Your Feet
TUE, MAY 15 – SUN, MAY 20
From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything. From international superstardom to life-threatening tragedy, ON YOUR FEET! takes you behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making and groundbreaking couple who, in the face of adversity, found a way to end up on their feet. Directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and an original book by Academy Award® winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), ON YOUR FEET! features some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter-century — and one of the most inspiring stories in music history.
Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter
This bi-monthly publication is designed to showcase highlights of the exciting and important work Overture is doing to make our organization more inclusive and reflective of our community, including both past and upcoming special events, programming, staff, volunteers and community partners. You can view the newsletter via the link below:
Race to Equity funding provided by: Altria, Cummings Christensen Family Foundation, Carl & Mary Gulbrandsen, Philip & Helen Bradbury, Madison Community Foundation, Scherr-Lloyd Fund, Overture Center Foundation Board of Directors and by contributions to Overture Center for the Arts.
For more information on how to support these efforts, contact Ed Holmes, PhD. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact us anytime!