Escape to a world where fantasy and futurism reign supreme as The Lewis Museum transports you to a place filled with limitless possibilities … Into Utopia properly starts the Spring Gala season and recognizes luminaries who boldly imagined the seemingly impossible and made it reality.
When: Thursday, May 11, 2023
Where: The North Club at M&T Bank Stadium
1101 Russell Street
Cocktail Hour – 6 PM
Dinner & Awards – 7 PM
Attire is Fashion Forward, Futuristic & Celebratory Chic
As The Lewis Museum celebrates Black Futures/Black Imaginings and the landmark exhibit Afro-Futurist Manifesto: Blackness Reimagined during the Spring and Summer seasons, we found it only fitting to take our gala patrons Into Utopia for our annual fundraising event.
What is Afrofuturism?
- The term “Afrofuturism” was coined by American author, lecturer, and cultural critic Mark Dery in 1993. But the concept was conceived in the cosmology and ideology of ancient Africa, transported in the souls of the enslaved, birthed in the Afro-diasporic experience, and preserved through atavistic memory. Dery questioned, “Can a community whose past has been deliberately rubbed out, and whose energies have subsequently been consumed by the search for legible traces of its history, imagine possible futures?”
What Dery failed to realize is the history of Black people has never been “rubbed out.” It has always lived in the art, music, and literature articulated by its people—and existed within the framework of Afrofuturism …with the mission of laying the groundwork for a humanity that is not bound up with the ideals of white Enlightenment universalism. (Jones, 2015, Rabaka, 2010, Rollefson, 2008, p. 91)
Black Futures/Black Imaginings has five objectives:
- To provide the region with a unique and historic opportunity to view Black artists featured at the Venice Biennale
- To explore the concept of Black futurism as an imaginative and liberatory practice
- To create a dynamic space that engages a diverse range of community members in imagining an otherwise for Black communities in Baltimore, Maryland, the region, and the world
- To investigate concepts of time and futurism in the Black diaspora
- To activate The Lewis Museum – both virutally and in real life – as a site of dynamic community engagement.