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Two Local Artists Selected for HC x WCC: Creative Residencies for Worcester Artists at The Prior

For Immediate Release: 6/5/2024 3:05 pm

WORCESTER, Mass. – Local artists Cyrille Vincent Ndomakette Samba and Daniel Gay have been selected for creative summer residencies at The Prior Performing Arts Center at the College of the Holy Cross as part of its Scholarship in Action program, the Worcester Cultural Coalition’s (WCC) three-year partnership with the College and the City of Worcester’s Cultural Development Division.

Cyrille Vincent’s project, a film titled “WHIRLWIND,” will tell the story of Worcester legend and 1899 World Bicycling Champion Major Taylor, whose meteoric rise to the top of the competitive bicycling world in post-Civil War America made him the first worldwide Black athletic superstar. Cyrille Vincent looks forward to the residency as an opportunity for dedicated focus on completing historical research, drafting the film script, and outlining the next steps toward the finalization of the film. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility themes are integral to the project and the story.

“Major Taylor’s story is a force that not only entertains but also educates and empowers diverse communities around the nation and the world,” Cyrille Vincent said.

Cyrille Vincent will share project updates throughout the residency via the project’s newsletter, social media channels, and website.

Gay’s project, a musical work titled “Around the World: Worcester Immigrant Diasporas in Musical Tapestry,” aims to document the cultural contributions and attributes of his students in the Worcester Public School system, a group that includes numerous newcomers, refugees, and immigrants. The concert program will present styles of music from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Levant, and Eastern Europe to all ages and socioeconomic status in a 90-minute work for solo piano, guitar, and accordion.

“The purpose is to expose our communities to the rich cultures that might go unnoticed in our communities, but also to provide a musical template for cultural understanding,” said Gay. “The diversity of our Worcester community is the inspiration, it will allow further accessibility to cultural learning experiences and will hopefully expose a broader audience to the wonderful cultural contribution of our immigrant and refugee diasporas through the power of instrumental music.”

Gay will provide project updates throughout the residency on his social media channels, website, and through the completion of the project, which will include a public premiere of the piece and a professional recording of the work.

HC x WCC: Creative Residencies for Worcester Artists at The Prior is funded by the College’s Scholarship in Action (SIA) initiative. By cultivating long-term relationships in Worcester, SIA faculty, student researchers, and community stakeholders design meaningful research projects that center principles of equity, antiracism, and shared knowledge production that engage wider audiences both locally and globally. This initiative reflects the significant role that the liberal arts and the humanities play in addressing complex challenges.

In addition to the development of new artistic work, the SIA -funded project aims to create new knowledge for the field about the campus-based arts residency model. As part of the program, participants will engage in conversations and self-reflection about their residency process and experience.

A hub for academic and artistic innovation, The Prior consists of a 400-seat proscenium concert hall, a 200-seat flexible theater, and various cutting-edge studios and multi-use flexible spaces. Summer residencies–which focus on development, not performance–will allow these spaces to be activated for the creation of new work and tailored to the specific needs of each artist selected.

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