Duke Performances partners with the Music Maker Relief Foundation to present Music Maker 25 at The Fruit, a 15,000 square foot community art space in Durham, NC, from December 4th – 8th.
Works from significant visual artists such as Lonnie Holley (The Met, MASS MoCA), Sam “The Dot Man” McMillan (SECCA), Freeman Vines, and Music Maker founder Timothy Duffy (NOMA, the Morris Museum of Art) will be on display alongside informational panels, listening stations and other interactive components telling the stories of Music Maker Relief Foundation and the blues, gospel, folk, and Native American musicians with which it has partnered in its 25-year history. Attendees will be able to walk through the exhibition before and after each thematic performance.
The stories of these musicians are uniquely shaped by the American experience, through song and immersive visual art experience, Music Maker 25: Honoring Our Musical Traditions will tell the story of these often-overlooked purveyors of our musical traditions.
“To experience a performance from any of the musicians set to play Music Maker 25 is powerful, to also have the physical experience of seeing their art and interacting with it will be transformative.” – Timothy Duffy (Founder, Music Maker Relief Foundation)
“Music Maker 25: Honoring Our Musical Traditions spotlights the powerful lineage of American roots music and a group of Southern artists who, against great odds, uphold these musical traditions and help preserve our cultural heritage. This exhibition introduces visitors to twenty-five years of Music Maker Relief Foundation and to some of the artists who have made the organization what it is today. Visitors will have a chance to listen to music passed down to and reinterpreted by artists who receive sustenance and professional opportunities through Music Maker programs. They will be able to explore some of these artists’ visual work, as well as meaningful artifacts connected to Music Maker history. An immersive storytelling experience, this exhibition will invite visitors to spend time in a curated lounge to enjoy a cocktail and learn more about how they can join the Music Maker community.” – Kimber Heinz & Joel Johnson (Exhibition Co-Curators)
In addition to the seven concerts and exhibitions, a film screening of Lonnie Holley’s Sundance selected short film I Snuck Off the Slave Ship will be hosted at Power Plant Gallery. A roundtable discussion will also take place at The Fruit, moderated by renowned folklorist, author, and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities William R. Ferris. Panelists will include Music Maker founder Timothy Duffy, Fat Possum Records owner Bruce Watson; guitarist Alabama Slim, vocalist Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, and singer-songwriter Pura Fé. Both the screening and roundtable discussions are free and open to the public.