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Performance: "Presence of Absence: Gordon Parks Through an Empathic Lens"

Six-time Grammy winner Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective in Concert, with staging by students of K-State and University of Texas, Dallas under the direction of Andrew F. Scott and Matthew Gaynor. Offered in conjunction with the exhibition Gordon Parks: Homeward to the Prairie I Come, open through May 28, 2022 at the Beach Museum of Art. 

Tickets are free but required. Obtain tickets beginning March 23, 2022 at the McCain Ticket Office, Wed. – Fri. 12 – 4 p.m. or by phone at 785-532-6428. Tickets are not available online.

Watch the trailer of the performance:

The title reflects a thoughtful consideration of influences. It combines the title of Terence Blanchard's current album, whose music will be featured during the performance. This album is a loving tribute to Wayne Shorter. It illuminates the challenge, discipline, beauty, and spirituality embodied in Wayne Shorter's life as expressed in his music. Likewise, it testifies to the continued impact that Gordon Park's Life and work have on both society and artists who seek to center social justice, the beauty of humanity, and hope in their work.  

Empathy was the superpower at the center of Gordon Park's life and interactions with his subject matter and craft. His ability to see the world critically with humility, grace, and curiosity allowed him to capture the essence of the human experience in all of its facets. Empathizing is the starting point of any design process or creative endeavor. As a collaborative group of musicians, multimedia designers, and art students, we have adopted this attitude as the founding principal, theme, and attitude for this project. The artwork we create is a thoughtful consideration of the subjects and their relationship to each other and the wider society. Using a synectic framework, we hope to bring the work of Gordon Parks and of ourselves as artists into a broader consideration through deep connections that are relevant to our time. More importantly, this project is an example of how creative pedagogy can be advanced when modern technology amplifies empathetic engagement. 

Made possible with major support from the Gordon Parks Foundation, the Weary Family Foundation, the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies and the Creativity Illuminated Fund. Support provided by Art Bridges.

This event is part of the Beach Museum of Art's annual program series, Art in Motion: a tribute to Marianna’s love for lifelong learning! Marianna Kistler Beach believed in the value of art and the importance of cross-cultural understanding. The museum offers the Art in Motion programs in celebration of her work and leadership.

Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm

McCain Auditorium ( Map)
1501 Goldstein Circle Manhattan, KS 66506-2111