Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement III - The Triple Deities

Tiona Nekkia McClodden

2018
$60,000

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Tiona Nekkia McClodden, CLUB, 2018, installation image at Performance Space, New York. Photo by Maria Baranova.

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Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I - The Visions, Scene II - Bout Time, 2014. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Tiona Nekkia McClodden, The Brad Johnson Tape, 2017, X- On Subjugation installation view at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia in Speech/Acts curated by Meg Onli.  Photo by Constance Mensh.
 

Tiona Nekkia McClodden, a 2016 Pew Fellow, will create a multimedia performance that merges art song, exhibition, film, and sculpture to examine black female identity within the context of American society. The Triple Deities draws from the Langston Hughes poem “Song to The Dark Virgin,” which in 1941 became an art song composed by Florence B. Price—the first African American woman to have a composition performed by a major American symphony orchestra. The work will consider how African American classical musicians historically used the art song form as a critical tool, while examining present day perspectives through film material sourced from members of McClodden’s own North Philadelphia community, where she has lived and worked for a decade. The artist will collaborate with nationally presented composer and pianist Courtney Bryan, who will create and perform a score that will include Price’s original composition, as well as a range of traditional African American musical genres and styles. Soprano vocalist Janinah Burnett will perform both the work in its traditional form and Bryan’s new compositions.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.