Sharing the Arts Across the Montgomery County Community

BlackRock Center for the Arts takes great pride in its engagement with the community and takes advantage of every opportunity to share various forms of arts with its neighbors.  The last few weeks have certainly be no exception:

img_1285We had the pleasure of hosting a free Community Dance Class featuring renowned choreographer and founder of Evidence, A Dance Company, Ron Brown.  All skill levels were invited to join this Afro Cuban Dance Class on October 22nd, 2016.  Brown led a class of approximately 20 students of varying levels through heart-thumping beats and rhythmic motions.  The overall reception from the students showed that they found the class empowering and would love the opportunity to work with him again if given the chance.  The opportunity peaked the participants’ interest  Brown’s performance at the BlackRock Studio Theater this coming February.

Evidence, Brown’s Dance Company is known for blending traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word providing a unique view of human struggles, tragedies, and triumphs.  Ron K. Brown has won a Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreography in the Tony winning  The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess. We are honored to have a performer such as Ron K. Brown grace the BlackRock stage.

On Wednesday October 26th, Australian acrobats Gravity and Other Myths spent the morning doing interactive demonstrations with 5th graders at Daly Elementary in Germantown; the students were enthralled with the experience. On Saturday, October 29, they performed a portion of their award-winning show A Simple Space at the grand opening weekend of BlackRock’s Lead Season Sponsor, Clarksburg Premium Outlets. Hundreds of people of all ages were dazzled by the artful physicality of these amazing performers. Later that night, they performed the full show on BlackRock’s main stage, the second of three performances. Their week-long residency also included a demonstration at the Maryland Soccerplex and workshops for students and circus artists at BlackRock. GOM has quickly become one of our audience’s favorite acts and we intend to have them back when their new show is complete and they travel this way again.

CastenadaMasterClasssThe amazing Colombian Jazz Harpist, Edmar Castañeda visited BlackRock Center the weekend of November 5th, 2016 for an intimate Saturday performance in our Studio Theater.  During Castañeda’s visit, he stopped by Seneca Valley High School on Friday November 4th for a lecture and demonstration with the student orchestra, talking about how he was first attracted to the harp in his native Columbia.  That night he graced the Pacifica Radio station airwaves on WPFW for their Live at 5 show.  On show day Saturday at BlackRock, Casteneda held a master class for the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra Harp Ensemble led by accomplished Harpist, Monica Vasey Rhodes. During the class, he taught the students some bossa nova rhythms and phrases, illustrated how he embraces his ardor of the strings through improvisation, and led them through several exercises, challenging them to create their own unique improvisations on their instruments. Many thought they couldn’t do it. But together they made beautiful music and surprised even themselves.  Edmar Castañeda’s impact on the Montgomery County youth was inspirational to witness.

BlackRock aims to bring world class artists to the Upper Montgomery County area and connects them with the community in meaningful and memorable ways.  It is our mission to inspire through the arts and sharing these artists beyond our building is part of making the arts accessible to all. We are grateful for the artists, community and individuals who help us spread this mission.


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