Media Arts Program

Sunday, June 4, 1995

Co-sponsored/co-presented by:
Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, the National Endowment for the Arts (Commissioning & Presenting Program)


Presented at:

Second performance of multimedia work by Homer Jackson and Essex Hemphill. With performances by Will Anderson Brown (ABT), Dee LaMonte Perry(Mr. So and So), and Homer Jackson (Hawkins). The multimedia project, which was developed in residence at Yellow Springs Institute, incorporates and deconstructs Frannie Hurst's film AN IMITATION OF LIFE (produced in 1934 and 1956), as well as audio materials from a 1973 interview with Barbara Ann Teer (from the Folkways album "Black Drama").

NOTE: Co-creator Essex Hemphill—who himself had performed solo at Hallwalls five years earlier, on November 16, 1990—died just five months to the day after this June 4, 1995 performance of Empty Arms, at the age of 38.

"Essex Hemphill (April 16, 1957–November 4, 1995) was an openly gay American poet and activist. He known for his contributions to the Washington D.C. art scene in the 1980s, and for openly discussing the topics pertinent to the African American gay community" (Wikipedia).

Some publications related to this event:
May and June, 1995 - 1995