In the spirit of Dr. King’s dream of a beloved community, we are sharing upcoming university and community-wide events. These gatherings represent the cultural, social and artistic impact of the Civil Rights Movement. If you have an event that you believe we should add, please contact us at

Through July 14, 2023

A Love Supreme: Black Cultural Expression and Political Activism of the 1960s and 1970s Exhibition

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Jan. 28 through May 14, 2023

Light Work Presents Its 50th Anniversary Exhibition

Light Work has announced its “50th Anniversary Exhibition: Selections from the Light Work Collection.” Through a partnership with the iconic Everson Museum of Art, this expansive golden-year retrospective will be on view in two of the museum’s main gallery spaces from Jan. 28 through May 14, 2023.

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Credit: Dawoud Bey

Impressive in its breadth and depth, the exhibition is a thoughtful curation of images and objects that have entered Light Work’s collection since the organization’s inception in 1973. Only the generosity of former Light Work artists-in-residence, grant awardees and individual donations have made this possible.

Light Work’s 50th anniversary presents a unique opportunity to share with the local, regional and national community the legacy of support the organization has extended to emerging and under-represented artists working in photography, lens-based media and digital image-making.

More than 4,000 photographic prints, objects and ephemera from an extensive and diverse archive are the basis of this exhibition. The selection maps out the many programs and partnerships representing 50 years of our commitment to increasing the visibility of lens-based artists.

The exhibition also highlights the hundreds of artists who came to Syracuse to expand their practice and make new work. Highlights in the show include images from acclaimed photographers Dawoud Bey (residency 1985), Wendy Red Star (Ellis Gallery 2019), Alessandra Sanguinetti (residency 2002, Main Gallery 2003), Cindy Sherman (residency 1981), Hank Willis Thomas (residency 2006), Carrie Mae Weems (residency 1988), James Welling (residency 1986) and many more.

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Deborah Willis

The five-month celebratory retrospective will boast a full roster of exhibition-related special events, workshops, docent-led tours, and an artist lecture with award-winning historian, author, curator, photographer and former Light Work residency participant (1990), Deborah Willis, Ph.D. Light Work will host Willis’ lecture in the Everson Museum’s Hosmer Auditorium on Thursday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m.

Willis is a University Professor and chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is also the director of NYU’s Center for Black Visual Culture. Her body of work examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, contemporary women photographers, and beauty. She is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Her many landmark publications include “The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship” and “Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present.” Professor Willis’s curated exhibitions include “Home: Reimagining Interiority” at YoungArts in Miami, “Framing Moments” at the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, “Migrations and Meanings in Art,” and “Free As They Want to Be: Artists Committed to Memory” at FotoFocus 2022.

March 28, 2023

An Evening with Dr. Nell Irvin Painter: African American History and Questions of Repair

40th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Public Memorial Lecture

Nell Irvin Painter (Princeton University, Professor Emeritus)
Herb Ruffin (Syracuse University)

In a powerful and deeply insightful program hosted by African American Studies, Dr. Painter explores issues of racial and gender identity and how they have figured into the history of America and the West. Drawing from both her extensive scholarly studies and her more recent study of visual art, Dr. Painter examines different time periods, locations, and individuals throughout Western civilization, bringing America’s rich cultural history to life on stage. Her informative and thought-provoking program urges audiences to look at history beyond the lines of difference and stereotype, sparking a discourse that continues well after she has left the stage. Dr. Ruffin moderates a question-and-answer session to follow.

This event is part of Syracuse Symposium’s year-long series on “Repair.”

Read more about Dr. Painter.

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March 30, 2023

Repair, Refuge, and Resilience through Photopoetry

Ahmed Badr (Narratio Fellowship Founder)
Brice Nordquist 
(Syracuse University)
Srivi Ramasubramanian
 (Syracuse University)
*Featuring Narratio Fellows

CODE^SHIFT at Newhouse School presents a showcase of media, art, and storytelling created within immigrant, undocumented, and borderland communities in Syracuse and Richmond, VA. This gathering includes stories of resettlement, preservation, and integration in multiple media formats — poetry, memoir, photography, painting, video and audio — from people resettled in Syracuse and Richmond from over a dozen countries. As resettlement cities with several new and older generations of immigrants and asylum-seekers, Syracuse and Richmond are uniquely positioned to serve as repositories and confluences of everyday stories of coping and resilience.

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This event is part of Syracuse Symposium’s year-long series on “Repair.”