The Delta Cultural Center (DCC) at Helena-West Helena will host the grand opening of the “Our Front Porch” exhibit from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.
“Our Front Porch” will be on display through Friday, Sept. 27, at the DCC in historic downtown Helena. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and admission is free, according to a news release.
DCC and Traveling Arts Fiesta, a non-profit organization based at Russellville, will present the traveling display.
“‘Our Front Porch’ is a multi-media installation that recreates the ‘front porch’ where generations of families would gather and share stories,” according to the release. “Through various mediums, curator Shannon Dillard Mitchell’s display invites visitors to engage with a community of artists, story-tellers and musicians in an environment that emphasizes the importance of community bonding. To that purpose, many of the works in this installation reflect the theme of shared memory.”
The exhibit is also represented by paintings that act as “windows” to what might be seen when people sit on a front porch.
A centerpiece of the exhibit — the rocking chair conversation circles — will be held from 1:30-2:15 p.m.
“Visitors are free to bring a memory of their own to these conversations, or simply listen to the recollections of others who join in the dialogue while snapping beans on ‘Our Front Porch’,” according to the release.
Blues musician Brotha Ric Patton will perform during the opening and encourage visitors to join him on the kazoos, shakers, washboard and hula hoops. Children’s old-fashioned crafts and storytelling will also be held.
Several Arkansas artists’ work will be featured at the DCC gallery opening, including that of Angela Davis Johnson, a nationally recognized artist and native of Elaine. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet Johnson and other artists at the opening.
Jeannie Rodriguez-Stone, creator of the “Our Front Porch” exhibition, the display allows for the coming together of neighbors and strangers — and for the reconstruction of “civil” discourse.
“Stone says this is an exhibit that offers a safe place large enough to hold people’s differences as was true on the front porches across the south in days gone by,” according to the release.
“Our Front Porch” is funded by the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arkansas Arts Council (an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage). Additional funding is provided by Alternate ROOTS and The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas and other state agencies in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, according to the release.
Details: www.travelingartsfiesta.com/our-front-porch; Drew Ulrich, DCC curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-338-4350; www.deltaculturalcenter.com or www.Facebook.com/DeltaCulturalCenter .