Brown v. Board 70th Anniversary Logo

Celebrating 70 Years of Brown v. Board with vanessa german’s “CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love & Reckoning”

Join us in celebrating the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board with vanessa german’s powerful “CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love & Reckoning” and the moving spoken word operetta, “THE WAY OF LIGHT.”

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the monumental Brown v. Board of Education decision, ArtsConnect is honored to present the transformative work of internationally renowned citizen artist vanessa german. Through a unique blend of multimedia sculptures and a spoken word operetta, german’s residency in Topeka has culminated in a profound artistic exploration of social trauma, healing, and community spirit.

CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love & Reckoning

The centerpiece of this commemoration is “CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love & Reckoning,” a touring installation that will premiere at the Mulvane Art Museum on May 16, 2024. This exhibit, which will remain on display until mid-July before moving to the Great Overland Station, features 20-25 multimedia sculptures co-created with Topeka community members. Each piece reflects the lived experiences, dreams, and transformations inspired by the Brown v. Board decision.

german’s approach to art is deeply rooted in communal conversation and collaborative creation. Through workshops and thought experiments, she has engaged Topeka residents in the artistic process, resulting in a body of work that is both an invitation to and a manifestation of collective reckoning.

THE WAY OF LIGHT: A Spoken Word Operetta

On May 24, 2024, “THE WAY OF LIGHT” will premiere at White Concert Hall. This six-part poetic, spoken word operetta, co-written by artists Angel Haze, August Mendoza, and vanessa german, weaves together movement, voice, and ritual to elevate the narratives of Topeka residents. The performance, featuring a multiracial, intergenerational community choir, aims to embody Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of the “beloved community.”

“THE WAY OF LIGHT” is not only a performance piece but also a significant work of public art. Its premiere will be professionally recorded and submitted for Grammy consideration, further amplifying the voices and stories of Topeka’s community on a national stage.

The Importance of Reckoning and Healing

vanessa german’s work is a powerful reminder that true commemoration is a process, not just an event. By engaging deeply with the community, her art serves as both a reflection and a catalyst for social transformation. The Museum of Love & Reckoning and the spoken word operetta offer a space for Topekans to explore the complexities of the Brown decision, confront past traumas, and envision a future rooted in justice and love.

Join Us in Celebrating and Reflecting

We invite you to join us in celebrating this historic milestone and engaging with the transformative work of vanessa german. The opening of “CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love & Reckoning” and the premiere of “THE WAY OF LIGHT” are free and open to the public, providing an opportunity for all to participate in this unique artistic journey.

RSVP today to be part of these special events and witness how art can bridge the past and the present, fostering a community rich in reflection, reckoning, and hope.

For more information, visit ArtsConnect and explore the full schedule of events and additional resources about vanessa german and her work. Let us come together to honor the legacy of Brown v. Board and continue the work of building a more just and loving community.

Special Events

  • CRAVING LIGHT: The Museum of Love & Reckoning
    • Opening Reception: May 16, 2024, at the Mulvane Art Museum
    • Exhibit Duration: May 16 - mid-July, 2024
    • Location: Mulvane Art Museum, then Great Overland Station

  • THE WAY OF LIGHT: A Spoken Word Operetta
    • Premiere Performance: May 24, 2024, 8pm at White Concert Hall
    • Featuring: vanessa german, Angel Haze, August Mendoza, and a community choir

RSVP now to ensure your place at these impactful events and be part of the ongoing conversation about justice, love, and community.