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January 13, 2009
Core Ensemble to Perform Music Theatre Piece on Groundbreaking African American Women

The University of Dubuque is excited to welcome the Core Ensemble - Tahirah Whittington, cello; Hugh Hinton, piano; and Michael Parola, percussion; with actress Taylore Mahogany Scott - on Thursday, February 5, as a Woodward Artist-In-Residence for the 2009 spring semester. The Core Ensemble will perform the music theatre work Ain't I a Woman! at Blades Chapel at 7:30 p.m. The work is the latest in a series of multicultural and feminist performance pieces produced by the ensemble over the past ten years.

Ain't I a Woman! celebrates the life and times of four powerful African American women: renowned novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, ex-slave and fiery abolitionist Sojourner Truth, exuberant folk artist Clementine Hunter, and fervent civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. The musical score is drawn from the heartfelt spirituals and blues of the Deep South, the urban vitality of the Jazz Age, and contemporary concert music by African Americans. Ain't I a Woman! is a joyful exploration of the trials and triumphs of four passionate and accomplished women.

A versatile performer, Taylore Mahogany Scott has performed in film, and television, including the nationally televised PBS show African American Lives with Oprah Winfrey. Her theatre credits include New York Classical Theatre-All's Well that Ends Well and As You Like It; American Globe Theatre-Romeo and Juliet; Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival-MacBeth; Dallas Theatre Center-A Christmas Carol. Ms. Scott received a BS in Biomedical Science for Veterinary Medicine and Theatre Arts from Texas A&M University and an MFA in Acting/Shakespeare from Florida Atlantic University.

The Core Ensemble has toured in Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine, the Caribbean, and in every region of the U.S. The Core Ensemble receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

The show tours throughout the U.S. during Black History Month and Women's History Month.

Funding is provided by the Woodward Artist-in-Residence Endowment. The endowment was established through a bequest from Mr. William Woodward, a former Trustee at the University. His goal was to have the University use these funds to expose the campus community to artists from a wide variety of fields. Previous Artists-In-Residence have included David Boxley, a Native American carver; Tom Gifford, a well-known fiction writer; Frieda Lee, a jazz singer from Chicago; and Archie Lieberman, a renowned photographer. The performance is free and open to the public.