MADISON — The Urban League of Greater Madison’s 2nd Annual Urban Cabaret is a spin on last year’s sold out Jazz Cabaret, which featured an eclectic mix of music and magic.
This year organizers chose to elevate the event, incorporating performances by aerial artists, Cycropia, the Black Star Drumline, The Bellhops and a theatrical piece created specifically for this event by playwright and director, Rain Wilson. In addition to the main performances, there will be strolling magic by Lochlan Masters, stilt walkers, Cabaret Cuisine, and a dance party with DJ Chill.
The Urban Cabaret was inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou’s “Cabaret for Freedom,” a fundraiser for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference held in 1960. Providing a stage for local artists to perform and to help tell the story of the African American experience seemed like a natural way for the Urban League to get its message out. Thanks to a strong relationship with the UW First Wave Spoken Word and & Urban Arts Community, the Urban League is able to offer fresh and relevant artistry that isn’t typically offered in the mainstream community, bridging the gap between the campus and local community.
The Bellhops set will feature pieces written by First Wave student Taylor Scott, who performed at last year’s Jazz Cabaret. The show is composed of original songs and poems that take musical cues from blues, hip-hop, jazz, and spoken word traditions to communicate about themes of race, womanhood, and survival in the United States.
First Wave Creative Director Rain Wilson’s theatrical performance “A Piece of Sky” was inspired by Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and hopes to inspire attendees to collectively unlock the cages that hold back many African Americans today. In addition to the riveting performances, the event will offer strolling magic, “Cabaret Cuisine,” a lively after party featuring DJ Chill and other surprises.
The event itself is a way to empower, educate, and employ as it provides attendees and artists a way to intimately communicate ideas and experiences and for local artists to perform and connect with the community. Interim CEO/President, Noble Wray, shared “With so much of our attention focused on the deficits of African Americans in Madison and nationally, the Urban Cabaret is a way to shift that focus to the talent that exists and to turn some of that pain into positivity.” Wray notes that until starting as CEO/President, he was unaware of the many programs and ways that the Urban League touches lives. The Urban Cabaret is a nice vehicle to connect with those touched and to be touched by their stories in a fun and celebratory setting.
Last year, the One Madison aised Jazz Cabaret rose over $92,000 and this year seeks to raise $100,000 to support Urban League programs, which include workforce development programs, Schools of Hope and Project REACH.
For more information contact Hedi Rudd at 608-729-1268 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase tickets visit http://urbancabaret.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1117965.