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Art Noire celebrates Black culture at the Springfield Museum of Art


This week, Midday Music host Evan Miller interviewed Dorian Hunter, founder of Art Noire, an annual celebration of Black arts and culture held at the Springfield Museum of Art. This year, Art Noire will take place on February 3-4. Dorian spoke with Evan about the upcoming event, which will feature art exhibits, music, food, and discussion panels highlighting Black creation and entrepreneurship.

Dorian Hunter, a community organizer and entrepreneur based in Springfield, held the first Art Noire in 2022. He said he founded the event to create a more light-hearted alternative to traditional Black History Month programming. “[Art Noire] was really established because I felt like there was a void in Black History Month celebrations,” he told Evan. “There were a lot of events you could go to where you get the traditional, ‘sit down, have dinner, listen to a speaker’ type of event. But you know what? I didn't feel there was a true celebration.” He decided to organize an event highlighting Black art, creativity and expression.

For the first time this year, Art Noir will span two days: Friday, February 3rd and Saturday, February 4th. An exhibition of visual art by Black artists, curated by Jamal Durr, will be on display in the Springfield Museum of Art’s galleries throughout the event.

Friday’s programming begins at 12:00pm and includes a showcase of local vendors, panel discussions about Black professional development and voices in creative industries, and music performances by SFE TAV, Feyth, D. Knight, Rafeke, and Harry Green. Free tickets can be reserved in advance.

Saturday’s programming begins at 5:45pm with a social hour, followed by Art Noire 2024 Exhibition Awards, and music performances by YVNN, E. Sea, Ray Makale, (CA)^2, and headliner Urban Art Orchestra. Advance tickets are available online for $15.

Dorian spoke with Evan about the theme of this year’s Art Noire and expressed the importance of uplifting Black culture. “The theme of this year is ‘Love Black,’” he said. “It’s really an internal and an external statement for Black people to love themselves, as well as for those outside of the Black culture to love us. Because Black culture can go a lot of different ways; it can be appreciated in certain senses when the right song is on or the right movie is on. But, in other senses, it might be [merely] tolerated... At the end of the day, we should celebrate all the good, the bad, the ugly. All cultures have unique traits and different things that make the culture what it is. We want to come together and celebrate Black culture, to really just take away a better appreciation.”

For more information about Art Noire, visit Artxnoire.com, or follow on Instagram.

Text by Peter Day, adapted from a radio interview recorded by Evan Miller on Monday, January 29th, 2024.

Evan Miller is a percussionist, lover of sound, and is probably buying too many cassette tapes online right now. Evan got his start in radio in 2012 at WWSU at Wright State University, where he was studying percussion performance. He followed through with both endeavors and eventually landed a lucrative dual career playing experimental music at home and abroad, and broadcasting those sounds to unsuspecting listeners Sunday nights on The Outside. Maintaining a connection to normal music, Evan also plays drums in bands around the area, and hosts WYSO's Midday Music show. When not doing something music-related, Evan is most likely listening to podcasts or watching food videos at home with his cat.
Peter Day writes and produces stories for WYSO’s music department. His works include a feature about Dayton's premiere Silent Disco and a profile of British rapper Little Simz. He also assists with station operations and serves as fill-in host for Behind the Groove. Peter began interning at WYSO in 2019 and, in his spare time while earning his anthropology degree, he served as program director for Yale University’s student radio station, WYBC.