Black Heritage Day

February Second Saturdays for Families

Celebrate the contributions, triumphs, and creativity of African American artists with this virtual lineup of art-making, close looking activities, and performances. Connect with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture for more virtual Black History Month content.


Create alongside Hartford-based artist Deka Henry and design a unique paper mosaic. 

Close Looking

Artist: Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988)
Title: She-ba
Date: 1970
Medium: Collage on paper, cloth, and synthetic polymer paint on composition board

This portrait by Romare Bearden showcases the biblical Queen of Sheba who traveled to Jerusalem from the region we know today as Ethiopia and Yemen. This striking depiction of the regal queen was constructed from fabric, colored paper, black-and-white photostats, and magazine clippings. She-ba exemplifies the artist’s signature work of complex collages rooted in African art and African American folk culture. 

Zoom in on the image:

  • What do you notice about the artwork? 
  • A closer inspection reveals a variety of different colors, prints, and textures. What pieces stand out? 

Bearden was known for his collages, mixing items like fabric and colored paper to construct figures from his life, religion, history, literature, and myth. Using art supplies from home, create a mixed-media collage that represents your hopeful vision for the future. 

Collection Connections

Artist: Nick Cave (American, born 1959)
Title: Soundsuit
Date: 2009
Medium: Found crocheted and hooked rugs, knitted yarn, and metal armature

Presented as static sculptures in museums, Nick Cave’s Soundsuits come alive when they are incorporated into the artist’s coordinated dance performances. When “brought to the body and utilized in performance,” the Soundsuit reflects dance and costume traditions across the Diaspora.    

Click here and listen to curator Frank Mitchell discuss Cave’s work and watch Soundsuits in motion. 


Hit play to watch a dance performance by Jakar Hankerson and see how movement can tell a story. 


Sit back and enjoy a special presentation by Hartford-based opera singer Miles Wilson-Toliver and Pianist Wayne Dixon.

Pianist: Wayne Dixon, Baritone: Miles Wilson-Toliver, Cinematographer: Leo Casserta