Common Touch: Musical Meeting of the Minds

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Dancers C. Kelly White-Burrell and Steffanie White-Burchette in performance. Photo by Kerville Jackson.

In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind, the Library Company of Philadelphia presents a performance of Pew Fellow and percussionist Pablo Batista’s Center-funded performance work El Viaje (The Journey). El Viaje tells a story of the spiritual and cultural resilience of those forced to emigrate from Africa to the Americas, through a performance that blends Afro-Cuban rhythms and Western instrumentation, Afro-Caribbean choreography, and evocative multi-media imagery.

A reception and exhibition walk-through of Common Touch will be held at the Library Company at 5:30 p.m., followed by the performance of El Viaje at the Free Library at 7 p.m. A free trolley service will be provided to transport guests from the Library Company to the Free Library.

Common Touch, curated by artist-in-residence and Pew Fellow Teresa Jaynes, is a multisensory exhibition based on the Library Company’s extraordinary collection of pre-Braille texts for the blind. The culmination of nearly five years of research by Jaynes, the exhibition incorporates historic objects alongside new artifacts, visual art, and literature that visitors can experience via touch, smell, and hearing.


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