Tag: National Center for Civil and Human Rights

“The HeLa Project” Exhibition Travels to NY, ATL to Honor Mortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Before Premiere of HBO Film

(image via wn.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Exhibition to Feature Artist Kadir Nelson and Poet Saul Williams.

HBO recently announced the official launch of “The HeLa Project,” a culturally-grounded, multi-media exhibition inspired by the highly-anticipated HBO film, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne, which will premiere on April 22. Directed by George C. Wolfethe film is based on Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller of the same name.

The film tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line that ultimately led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.

“The HeLa Project” is designed to celebrate Henrietta Lacks, the woman – to give her a voice and to humanize and recognize her. The exhibition features an original portrait by two-time Caldecott Honor Award winning artist Kadir Nelson and an original poem by Saul Williams. Additional art, curated by Lewis Long of Long Gallery Harlem, includes works by Derrick Adams, Zoe Buckman, Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich, Doreen Garner, and Tomashi Jackson.  The product of these elements, plus an educational, sculptural installation about the HeLa cells, all converge in this engaging experience.

(image vialewis museum.org)

The  exhibition debuted last week in Baltimore at the Reginald Lewis Museum, and  will run April 7th – April 9th in SoHo, New York (465 W. Broadway, Fri – Sat, 11am – 7pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm).

“The HeLa Project” will be making additional stops in Atlanta, GA on April 13th – April 16th at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Civil and Human Rights Museum to Open in Atlanta

Portraits of rights activists at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. (Credit: Dustin Chambers for The New York Times)

ATLANTA — Far from his typical Broadway haunts, the director George C. Wolfe was walking through a construction site here this spring when, amid a cacophony of saws and drills, he stopped and stood before what was to become a replica of a lunch counter that he said would claw visitors back into history.

The display at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Mr. Wolfe said, would allow people to don headphones, rest their hands on the counter and hear a volley of heckles similar to what demonstrators heard during the civil rights movement.

“You’re in the moment,” Mr. Wolfe, the center’s chief creative officer, said, his voice rising. “You’re in the times. You’re experiencing the euphoria and the danger that was existing at the time.”

For Mr. Wolfe and the museum’s supporters, summoning the South’s past in a dramatic way is an unequaled opportunity for Atlanta to showcase a present well beyond CNN, Coca-Cola and a vast international airport. Civic boosters contend that the museum will fuel tourism, broaden the city’s reputation and become a place that could host international human rights events.

Whether the $80 million complex — backed by a mix of public and private funding, with the land donated by Coca-Cola — will fulfill the entirety of that lofty vision is a question that could take decades to answer. But Doug Shipman, the center’s chief executive, said it would be both a vivid link to the city’s rich civil rights history and a prod toward social change.

“This isn’t about specialists,” Mr. Shipman said. “This isn’t about academics. This is trying to take a 15-year-old and move them to interest and inspiration.”

The center, set along the northern edge of Pemberton Place, an area honoring the pharmacist who created Coca-Cola, is scheduled to open on Monday and will be the latest Southern museum to honor the region’s civil rights heritage. Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis are among the cities that host popular museums, and another is planned in Jackson, Miss.

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