Best of Calgary

On Stage for Black History Month and Black Futures

Ado Nkemka. Photo: Francis A. Willey 

Wakefield Brewster leads a lineup of genre-defying artists  

The TD Amplify series continues with a multi-genre showcase of Black talent for Black History Month and Black Future. On February 9 and 10, five talented local artists will find their way to the stage for Wakefield Brewster Presents Pt. 2.

Brewster is Calgary’s Poet Laureate, a spoken word icon, social translator and the 2023/2024 Fellow of the Arts Commons TD Incubator program, an artist mentorship program that provides professional development as well as networking and performance opportunities. 

In his role as fellow of the program, Brewster guides emerging artists on their creative and expressive journeys and helps them accelerate their careers as artists. 

Four of the artists from the Incubator program will showcase their work in the upcoming TD Amplify show. 

“These solo works are representative of puzzling together as individuals, artistically exhibiting the diversity of the Black diaspora,” says Brewster.

Brewster’s vision for this season of the TD Incubator program and the TD Amplify series asks artists to look inward and question what it means to accept the pieces that make up individual identity. In the upcoming show, audience members can expect the artists to tackle this idea through their artistic mediums ranging from music to dance to spoken-word performances.

The performances take place in the Arts Commons Engineered Air Theatre, a literally underground space. 

The show features ballet, jazz and tap dancer M’Kayla Kongnetiman, musician and award-winning journalist A.N., spoken word artist Okechukwu Nnamchi and breakthrough hip-hop artist Dizzy Walka. And of course, the show will also include Brewster with his latest music and poetry mashup.

“In the spirit of the month, I’m looking for the Black artists of the TD Incubator to do new things to create awareness, elevation and celebration of the artistry and contribution of Black artists in our city,” says Brewster.

Enjoy a medley of artistic mediums during the live show, a performance from the Poet Laureate himself and even a pre- and post-show DJ party. 

The two final instalments of the Amplify Series will be at Arts Commons April 26 and 27 and
June 7 and 8.

For more information on the TD Amplify series and to buy tickets visit artscommons.ca/amplify