210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

T 919-962-2091
F 919-962-2279

News Release

For immediate use

August 16, 2004 -- No. 379

Note: For details on the art exhibit, visit:

New Stone Center launches year
of concerts, lectures, more

CHAPEL HILL – The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History will make the most of its new building this year with programs that include lectures, concerts, workshops and discussion groups.

The center, an academic unit of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is at 150 South Road just west of the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower.

For information, visit Call 919-962-9001 for information, reservations and tickets. Events will be at the center unless listed otherwise. Scheduled so far are:

Aug. 23 – Nov. 10, "Celebration and Vision: The Hewitt Collection of African-American Art" in the center’s Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum. The exhibition, free to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, comprises 55 paintings, lithographs and collages by Hale Woodruff, Romare Bearden and other artists.

Aug. 27, Creative writing workshop with poet Sonia Sanchez, winner of the American Book Award in 1985 for "homegirls & handgrenades," Free. Sanchez has been nominated for National Book Critics Circle and NAACP Image awards; other honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Award. Space for the workshop is limited; registration is required.

Aug. 27, "Full Moon of Sonia: An Evening of Spoken Word and Music with Sonia Sanchez," 7:30 p.m., Great Hall, Frank Porter Graham Student Union. More than 20 musicians and other artists will accompany the 1985 American Book Award winner in a narrative performance of her poetry. The program will celebrate her artistic journey of more than four decades, taken in collaboration with composers, musicians and vocalists. Afterward, Sanchez will sign copies of her new compact disc. The program is not recommended for children. Tickets, sold at the door, will be $25 for the public and $10 for students. Call 962-9001 to reserve tickets in advance.

Sept. 8 – 11, Spoken-word artist and writer Aya de León will be the Pamela Nicole Cummings Visiting Artist at the center. She will present two free writing workshops. Space is limited; registration is required. De León’s stories and essays have appeared in national publications including Essence. De León has performed in New York City at Lincoln Center and the Hip Hop Theater Festival; she was chosen to tour with the Hip Hop Theater All Stars. Last year she released her first compact disc, "Aya de León: Live at La Peña."

Sept. 10, "Aya de Leon is Running for President," 7 p.m. in the center’s Dr. Harold J. Cobb Sr. Theatre. De León, a regular performer on the San Francisco poetry scene, will be this year’s Pamela Nicole Cummings Visiting Artist at the center. Her one-woman show will offer political commentary that is sometimes hard-hitting and sometimes hilarious. Tickets are $15 for the public and $5 for students.

Sept. 16, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, 4 p.m. in the center's Dr. Harold J. Cobb Sr. Theatre, part of the 2004 African Diaspora Lecture Series. Free. The writer and human rights advocate, born in Nigeria, uses his politically inspired writings to encourage democracy. Co-sponsored by the John Hope Franklin Center of Duke University, UNC’s Organization of African Students’ Interests and Solidarity (OASIS), the Rotimi Foundation of Durham and the University Center for International Studies at UNC.

Sept. 20, Hekima Reading Circle, 7 p.m. Free. Discussion of the circle’s September book, "The Gotham Diaries," by Tonya Lewis Lee and Crystal McCrary Anthony.

Oct. 4, Around the Circle, 7 p.m. Free. The center’s informal discussion group will watch and critique the film "African-American," directed by Askia Holloway. The documentary focuses on relations between African-American and African students on U.S. college campuses.

Oct. 14, Lecture by Afro-Colombian activist and former Columbian Congresswoman Zulia Mena. Time and place to be announced.

Oct. 18, Hekima Reading Circle, 7 p.m. Free. Discussion of the circle’s October book, "Slave," by Mende Nazer and Damien Lewis.

Oct. 30, Nnenna Freelon, 8 p.m. in the center's Dr. Harold J. Cobb Sr. Theatre. The five-time Grammy nominee will perform a benefit concert for the center. Tickets will be $100 for limited reserved seating, $50 for the public and $25 for students.

Oct. 31 – Nov. 5, this semester’s installment of the center’s Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film, times and locations to be announced. Free. Films will include:

· "Daughters of the Wind" ("Filhas do Vento"), with comments by director Joel Zito Araujo of Brazil, who will be an artist in residence at the center.

· "Carnival Roots," by Peter Chelkowski

· "ANC Hip Hop Revolution," by Melina Fotiadi

· "James' Journey to Jerusalem," by Clemence Taillandier.

Nov. 5, Clarence "Big House" Gaines, longtime men’s basketball coach at Winston-Salem State University, will sign copies of his new book, "They Call Me Big House," 5:30 p.m. Free. Gaines won 828 games, 12 conference championships and one national championship -- but he would rather talk about his teams' high graduation rates. The signing will precede an exhibition game between the WSSU Rams and the Tarheels in the Smith Center at 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 9, Precious Stone, daughter of the center’s namesake, will deliver this year’s Sonja Haynes Stone Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. in the center's Dr. Harold J. Cobb Sr. Theatre. Free. The signature program of the center, the lecture each year brings to campus a woman whose work, scholarship and service epitomize the vision and spirit of the late Carolina professor.

Nov. 15, Around the Circle, 7 p.m. Free. Discussion of issues relevant to the African-American community.

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Note: For information on the building dedication on Aug. 21, visit:

Contact: Antoinette Parker, Stone Center public relations officer, 919-962-7265.