“What in the African diaspora is happening in South Florida?”

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‘Celebrating Black Florida’ at the Norton Museum in WPB

February 22 @ 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Now in its third year, today’s day-long event, Celebrating Black Florida, showcases the art and cultural histories of black Floridians, as well as the Norton Museum of Art’s growing collection of works by artists of African descent. The free event has a huge schedule of activities that run from noon to 5 p.m and include special tours, family workshops, artist talks, performances, documentary films and, even, a teen art studio led by the Museum’s Teen Advisory Squad (TASQ). Wayne Perry, a gifted singer and horn player known as “Mr. Trombone,” will serve as the opening MC. The Restaurant at the Norton will also serve a variety of tasty African diaspora-related menu selections, including jerk chicken over ‘dirty’ rice, Caribbean slaw, Jamaican beef patties and coconut jerk shrimp and grits. To see the full event listing click here. But here’s a few highlighted items, below, to get a sense of the vibe:

Noon – 12:30 p.m./ Family-Friendly, 30-minute Express Tour

Noon 12:45 p.m. / The Mister Trombone Trio. Kick off the day with a live jazz performance by some of the best musicians in West Palm Beach. (That’s him in the picture above, blowing the horn.)

Noon – 5 p.m. / A Look Back at the Sunset Lounge hosted by the Historic Northwest Sunset Foundation. Originally known as the “Cotton Club of the South,” the Sunset Lounge in the historic Northwest District of West Palm Beach hosted the likes of Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington in the 1940s and ‘50s. More than just a space for entertainment, though, the Sunset became the backdrop for community building and activism. Learn about one of the area’s most popular jazz clubs through archival images and music of the era.

1-1:30 p.m. Sunshine Junkanoo Band. Dance along and join a Junkanoo parade in the Museum’s Goergen Garden! This rich Bahamian tradition combines drums, bells, whistles, rhythmic dances and vibrant, colorful costumes. Fun! (That’s the band in the picture, third row, above.)

1 – 4 p.m. / Live Art in the Garden with Anthony Burks, Sr. 

Burks, a graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale who works in various forms of media, including pen & ink, pastels, watercolor, and color pencil, will create an artwork in the garden. On the spot. His work has been exhibited for more than 25 years in museums, galleries and events throughout Florida. (He’s in the picture, too: left, second row.)

 2 p.m. / Highlights of the Collection Tour

 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. / A Conversation with Highwayman Artist R.L. Lewis. Artist R.L. Lewis, an art teacher in the Brevard County school system for 32 years, creates one of his signature paintings while discussing his art, life and the story of the Florida Highwaymen. Lewis is one of the most creative and versatile figures in the Florida Landscape Artist tradition and style that has become known as THE HIGHWAYMEN. Find out what it all means. (That’s him, in the above picture, bottom right corner.)

2:45 p.m. / Short Film – The Send-Off. Emboldened by a giant block party on the eve of their high school prom, a group of students gather with hopes of transcending their rural home of Pahokee and the industrial landscape that surrounds them. Directed by Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas, their films have won more than 20 awards and their first feature-length film PAHOKEE premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.)

 3 p.m. / Architecture and Sculpture Tour

4 – 4:45 p.m. / Hued Songs performance. Hued Songs is a multidisciplinary performance that illuminates the works of black composers and works inspired by black history, culture or text. Led by classical vocalist Kunya Rowley, the performance includes dance, song and spoken word. (That’s them, second row on the right.)

And all of this (and more) was made possible by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Learn about the huge, caring nonprofit here.



February 22
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Norton Museum of Art


Norton Museum of Art
1450 South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
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