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Black, Haitian American composer, violinist and activist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) returns in a celebratory new project spanning February-May 2024 and culminating in a day of community programs and an outdoor public performance at the at the historic Abyssinian Meeting House.
This is a site-responsive composition project that aims to reflect the breath, sorrow and beauty of Portland, Maine’s complex history and relationship to its Black community, utilizing live performance to mark, reclaim and celebrate a site of significance and enduring legacy. With the Abyssinian Meeting House as inspiration, DBR shares an original work, to which local artists across disciplines are invited to remix and respond.
This work, by its very nature, is rooted in a complex investigation into Black trauma, ownership, equity, and joy while utilizing DBR’s violin and scores as an instrument of change, of seeking and finding resonance. It is important to DBR that the work feels personal, even familial, accessible, intimate, and deeply collaborative where marginalized communities can participate as they wish to hold vigil, hold space, and hold each other.
All events are free and open to the public
No RSVP needed
Saturday, May 11
- 3 – 6 PM: Community events at partner sites
- 6 – 7 PM: Pre-performance Block Party
- 7 – 8 PM: Performance by Daniel Bernard Roumain
Preview the Music
Schedule of Events
Subject to Change
Saturday, May 11
3 – 6 PM
Three partner sites representing the past, present, and future of Black life in Portland invite the public in to share and learn. Audiences may visit each site at their leisure, experiencing the deep roots, forward-looking visions and vibrancy of these community spaces. In addition to one site that is still TBA, our collaborators include:
The Prince Project at The Eastern Cemetery (224 Congress St)
Established in 1668, the Eastern Cemetery is the oldest historic landscape in the city and home to around 7,000 interred. Spirits Alive is a non-profit organization dedicated to its protection and preservation through a range of activities, including promotion and education. The mission of The Prince Project is to uncover the role of enslavement in Maine’s early past and share the research in an effort to help rewrite inaccurate historical narratives.
Indigo Arts Alliance (60 Cove St)
Indigo Arts Alliance embodies a multiracial approach to the rich intersections of citizenship, community-building, and creativity. Their work is in service to shifting historical injustices as a vital component of achieving equity for Black and Brown artists. We believe that artists are instrumental to doing the work of social justice in ways that are deeply grounded in lived experience and community.
6 – 7 PM
Street party pre-performance at the Abyssinian Meeting house in Portland.
7 – 8 PM
Public performance by Daniel Bernard Roumain at the Abyssinian Meeting House in Portland.