Community contribution wanted on church arson for a dance project

Two public meetings are scheduled this week to discuss a new dance/music project created to discuss the arson attacks that destroyed three black churches in 2019.

The three churches, all located in St. Landry Parish, were burned down by a man who has since pleaded guilty to federal and state criminal charges in the case. He is serving a 25-year sentence. To read about it click here.

The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana is collaborating with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra to bring the project, entitled “Sacred Space?” It will be a new dance work that would “reflect on the impact of acts of hate against places of worship, including bombings, fires, hostage-taking and other acts of violence.”

The two public meetings will be hosted by Theodore Foster, Ph.D. , an assistant professor of history at UL in African American history, civil rights memory, and Black Studies.

Also participating in the discussions are Cleo Parker Robinson, Artistic Director of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver, and Adonis Rose, Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

The first event will be held at 6pm on Monday 13 June in the Fellowship Hall of St Mary Missionary Baptist Church, 103 Saquette Road, Port Barre.

The second event will take place on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in downtown Lafayette.

“The artists want to hear from the people in the communities and the community. They want to know how you felt when the churches were burned and how you feel now,” the collaboration group said in a statement. “How do you feel about other similar attacks?

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