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The Ringling News

05 February 2024

Celebrate Black History Month at The Ringling

by The Ringling

Here are some highlights of the exhibitions and events throughout February that feature the work of Black artists.

Sarasota is known as Florida’s Cultural Coast® because of its abundance of performances, galleries and more packed into a relatively small geographic area. The Ringling’s Art of Performance series kicked off Black History Month on February 1 with a National Theatre presentation of Othello—a “history-making” production that brings the play’s love story and Black experience to the fore. Also this month, the gem exhibition to explore in the Museum of Art is Shinique Smith’s Parade, which reveals the universality of human experience explored by artists throughout time while also foregrounding notions of Black femininity and the history of the circus.

The Art of Performance series is presenting Etienne Charles with Creole Soul, MazelFreten with Rave Lucid, workshops, artist talks, and more.

Every Thursday, Art After Five offers a way to enjoy reduced admission to Parade in the Museum of Art at dusk before heading to an event in the HAT.

Enjoy these great opportunities to celebrate Black artists this month.


Shinique Smith: Parade

Parade speaks to the European artistic tradition while also foregrounding notions of Black femininity and the history of the circus while revealing the universality of human experience explored by artists throughout time.

Read this interview with Shinique Smith where she discusses the work Stargazer—which is in the Exhibition—saying that it was “inspired by ancestors who gazed at the stars as explorers and as slaves seeking freedom, like other artists before me.”

This exhibition is on view through Jan. 5, 2025. More information here.




Creole Soul by Etienne Charles

Feb 15 & 16, 2024; 7:30 PM

Jazz trumpet sensation Etienne Charles’ lush sound, varied compositional textures, and pulsating percussive grooves enable him to invoke trance as he soothes and excites listeners. Trinidad-born performer, composer, and storyteller Charles’ Sarasota premiere promises complexity and swing.



Rave Lucid by Mazelfreten

 Feb 22, 2024; 11 AM and Feb 23-24, 2024; 7:30 PM

In a thrilling tribute to electro dance, Rave Lucid combines choreographed movements at 120 bpm that require unfailing concentration. Hypnotic arm games celebrate “rave” as a party, an organic trance, and “lucid” state where extreme control achieves perfect synchronization.

Listen to the founding artists for this group, Brandon Masele and Laura Defretin, discuss their inspirations [please include embed code for this if possible – if not then hyper link it to the word

Dance Masterclass with MazelFreten
Feb 22; 6:30 PM

This open level electro dance workshop is for anyone looking to discover the creativity and energy of electro dance.

Brinae’s Tap Clinic: Where You Can get Your Sole Fixed

Feb 8; 6:30 PM
This class will focus on basic tap technique that will help increase balance, memory, rhythmic breathing, and body consciousness. Get tickets here.

Artist Talk: Baby Laurence Legacy Project
Feb 12; 1:00 PM

Celebrate the artistic and social influences that “Baby Laurence” Donald Jackson had on the culture of Tap Dance and Jazz Music. Get tickets here.

The Ringling is in the heart of Florida’s Cultural Coast©. Long recognized as an area of natural beauty, Sarasota also hosts a rich mix of art, theater, music, film, and architecture. Learn more about Sarasota