“Sistahs Who Swing”, a multi-day diversity event, offered by NKU’s School of the Arts


The School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University, in association with Jazz Alive, Inc. and with support from the Ohio Arts Council, will host a multi-day event titled “Sistahs Who Swing.”

The event will celebrate and showcase African American female artists, educators and businesswomen. There will be discussion and reflection on a variety of issues that all women in business and the arts face in pursuit of a successful career and life.

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning jazz singer René Marie will be the guest artist in residence/clinician for this event. The celebration will end on Saturday March 26 with a performance by René Marie and the NKU Jazz Faculty.

All events are free and open to the public, thanks to support from the NKU SOTA Tom and Christine Neyer Family Visiting Artist Fund and the NKU College of Arts and Sciences Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fellowship. But you must make reservations.

Book your place here.

Thursday, March 24: (Newport residents participate in the panel)

10:30 a.m. – Sistahs Who Swing panel discussion / NKU Otto Budig Theater
Staking Your Place: African American Women in Business, Education, and the Arts

• Laura Gentry, President, Jazz Alive
• Kathy Wade, Jazz Singer and CEO, Learning Through Art, Inc.
• Angela Powell Walker, Artistic Director, SCPA
• Taren Plesinger-Kenebrew, local entrepreneur
• Virinda Garland Doddy, NKU Alum – 2nd Vice President Northern Kentucky Branch NAACP & Newport resident
• Adoria L. Maxberry, Artist and Owner, Most outGROWing, LLC
• Shelia Williams, author and Newport resident

Noon – Lunch with the panelists/UC Ballroom

Lunch offered to the first 65 registrants thanks to the generous support of the NKU College of Arts and Sciences Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fellowship

1 p.m. – Keynote/Art & Design Speak/NKU Otto Budig Theater

Josie Love Roebuck: Roebuck’s process addresses the contemporary complexity of identifying as biracial by symbolizing pain and triumph, exclusion and acceptance. Roebuck’s act of stitching portraits together allowed his canvas to become his paper and his needle to become his pen, so that Roebuck tapped into the past and present to convey a story of his experiences and the experiences of his family.

Josie Love Roebuck is represented by Latchkey Gallery (NY) and is an interdisciplinary artist from Chattanooga, TN. Roebuck currently teaches at the University of Cincinnati where she received her MFA (2021). She received her BFA with a major in drawing and painting, from the University of Georgia (2019).

She has exhibited her work at Kunsthille Krems Art Museum (AUT) upcoming, LatchKey Gallery (NY) upcoming, Akron Art Museum (OH), Ann Arbor Art Center (MI), New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art in partnership with the Indiana Southern University (IN), Denny Dimin Gallery (NY), Roy G Biv (OH), Christie’s at Rockefeller Plaza in collaboration with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (NY), NADA House (NY), LatchKey Gallery (NY), Contemporary Arts Center (OH), Portrait Society Gallery (WI) and Untitled Art Fair with Denny Dimin Gallery (NYC/online).

Rene Marie

Friday March 25:

10:30 a.m. – René Marie: Guest speaker/NKU Greaves Concert Hall

3 p.m. – Master Class with Rene Marie/NKU Greaves Concert Hall

Highlight event of Saturday March 26:

8:00 p.m. – René Marie Concert NKU Greaves Concert Hall

René Marie Performance with NKU Jazz Faculty. Over two decades, 11 recordings and countless stage performances, singer René Marie has cemented her reputation not only as a singer, but also as a composer, arranger, theatrical performer and teacher. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and grounded in the jazz traditions established by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other great ladies of generations past, she borrows various elements from folk, R&B, and even classical and country. to create a captivating hybrid style. His work is musical, but it is more than music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark recesses of human experience, and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.

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