The Freelons bring The Clothesline Muse to DAC

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The Durham Arts Council, one of the pillars of the Durham’s art community, is holding a benefit for the arts. The show is called “The Clothesline Muse.”

There is a coming full-circle embedded not only in the narrative, but in the players. Nnenna Freelon was one of the first winners of the Durham Arts Council’s Emerging Artist grants. She has gone on from that 1989 award to Grammys and national fame.


“The Clothesline Muse” is a multi-media performance piece. It combines live music, dance and artwork, to tell the story of women who washed clothes by hand, and through that story the writ large story of an entire culture. It is an outsider art production. The women washing the clothes weren’t sitting around reading the canon of the classics.

Clarion Content readers, who are fans of our Molly’s Minstrels column and understand the power of narrative handed down from grandmothers to mothers and mothers to daughters and granddaughters, will instinctively get it. And feel it. Story forms the core of how we explain our experience.

Freelon collaborated with Kariamu Welsh, who choreographed the show’s dances in mimicry of folding, drying, and other clothesline movements, and Maya Freelon Asante, a visual artist, whose contributions include  photos, video, and set design.

As we like to remind you, dear readers, Art is at the nexus of protest.

“The Clothesline Muse” recognizes, respects, and delves deeply into that theme.

Tickets for the show, which is tomorrow night, Thursday at 6.30pm, in the Durham Arts Council, at #120 Morris Street, also include a buffet dinner and an intimate after the show discussion with the creators and performers.

This is an opportunity not to be missed.

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Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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