Bristol Roundup

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day to Offer Special Performances

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and Bated Breath Theatre Company Collaborate to Celebrate Freedom

mlkihaveadreamgogoThe Amistad Center for Art & Culture will be observing the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with two special performances of “Freedom: In 3 Acts” by Bated Breath Theatre Company as a part of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Community Day activities on January 20. The admission-free day will be filled with educational and entertaining activities for adults, children and families from 10 AM to 5 PM, at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. The Bated Breath performances are at 11AM and 2PM. Locally renowned vocalist Jolie Rocke Brown will be the featured vocalist in the performance.

The Bated Breath Theatre Company performance, titled “Freedom: In 3 Acts,” was inspired by The Amistad Center’s exhibition Emancipation! The three-act play reflects the arc of African American history through music. Bated Breath will bring to life the struggle of escape on the Underground Railroad, the incredible journey of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and the singular voice of Marian Anderson. It will be the final presentation of the performance in Hartford. The performance’s three acts, entitled “Freedom,” “Jubilee,” and “Glory” provide an exploration of emancipation through song.

Admission is free throughout the day. Parking is available for $3 at Trumbull-on-the-Park Garage.

Bated Breath strives to bring new life into the theatre experience by drawing upon classic and contemporary plays to produce unusual and experiential theatre that doesn’t follow the crowd. Artistic Director Mara Lieberman says that Freedom: In 3 Acts is “a different kind of piece about America’s racial history,” consistent with the company’s approach that involves “making custom performance pieces for local cultural organizations in order to engage their patrons in new ways through theatrical events.”

In addition to the performances, there will be art activities throughout the day, family tours, Gospel music and a Time Capsule Tour developed by the Wadsworth Atheneum. Community Day is presented in a partnership between the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and The Amistad Center for Art & Culture.

Community Days are part of the Wadsworth’s Community Engagement Initiative, generously supported by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Program supplies are generously donated by S&S Worldwide. The Amistad Center’s educational programs and materials are supported by Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas-Northeast Utilities Companies.

“Bated Breath has done a wonderful job of drawing upon The Amistad Center’s collection to provide insight into the people and, events, who have shaped American history and contributed so much to this country’s culture,” said Executive Director Olivia S. White.

Community Day offers the last opportunity to see the acclaimed exhibition Emancipation! at The Amistad Center for Art & Culture. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the exhibit includes visual images and artifacts of events surrounding the time of the proclamation.

Emancipation! shows the complexity of implementing the order, which declared all slaves held in rebellious states to be free from this date forward. Represented in images from newspapers, photographs, and documents are the ways society learned about and participated in the declaration by President Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1863, the second year of the Civil War. Emancipation! is supported by a generous grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation.

Also during Community Day, the Wadsworth Atheneum will offer a time capsule tour, brining visitors back to 1964. What was the world like in 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was passed? What has changed (and what hasn’t) in the 50 years since then? Visitors will experience a family-friendly celebration of Dr. King, and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Community Day invites visitors to explore art and history through interactive gallery tours, live performances of music from the 1960s, hands-on art-making activities, a collaborative time capsule project, and much more.

For additional information, call 860.838.4133 or visit To learn more about Bared Breath Theatre Company, visit

About The Amistad Center for Art & Culture

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture is a not-for-profit cultural institution located at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, is dedicated to celebrating art and culture influenced by people of African descent through education, scholarship and social experiences. Its collection of 7,000 works of art, artifacts and ephemera documents nearly the entire history of the literary, military, enslaved, and free lives of Black people in America. The Center engages, enlightens and entertains young people and adults with stories of the contributions of citizens, soldiers, slaves, artists, actors, poets, and politicians, told through visual art. For more information, please visit

About Bated Breath

Founded in 2008, Bated Breath Theatre Company is a Hartford-based performance collective that aims to breathe new life into the theatrical experience by creating dynamic work which ranges from reinterpretations of classics and contemporary plays to devising innovative original performances. Artistic Director Mara Lieberman continues to push the boundaries of how theater is consumed by reworking content to fit a variety of spaces and introducing the performing arts to new audiences through the Interludes Program. To learn more about Bared Breath Theatre Company, visit

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