Community groups honor 1-year anniversary of Emmanuel AME shooting

Coming onto the eve of the first anniversary of the shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, the Columbia community is honoring the nine victims of the tragedy with art and conversation about healing and love.

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, is partnering with Izzard Entertainment and Tapp’s Art Center, will present “Hope in Harmony: An Artistic Conversation” this Saturday.

Hundreds gather to honor the Charleston Nine and call for the removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse Grounds in July 2015. (Photo by Kelly Petty)

Hundreds gather to honor the Charleston Nine and call for the removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse Grounds in July 2015. (File photo by Kelly Petty)

Award-winning composer, producer and director Darryl Izzard will premiere a song in response to last year’s shooting.

“Tragedy doesn’t have to end with pain, but it can end with hope! Having experienced the pain of losing a close relative to racial violence as a teenager, I know firsthand how it feels and wanted to respond to hatred with love,” Izzard said. “So, as a musician I decided to express my feelings through songs of healing, hope and harmony that will lift the hearts of those who hear them. I believe that the arts are the barometer of society.  As artists, we document the feelings and thoughts of humanity.”

Izzard’s work will be performed by the Hope and Harmony Ensemble, composed of members of the Benedict Gospel Choir, USC’s A Touch of Faith Gospel Choir, and Columbia College’s Heavenly Creations Gospel Choir.

Other artists, including singer Ann Caldwell, pianist Eric Crawford, gospel singer Labarius Torez Edwards and bluegrass band Palmetto Blue, also will interpret Izzard’s music.

“Hope in Harmony” is the final public program in conjunction with the McKissick exhibition “Heard at Every Turn: Traditional Music in South Carolina.” This exhibition represents year three of McKissick’s “Diverse Voices” series, which explores the vibrant traditions that help create and maintain the Palmetto State’s unique and complex cultural landscape.

On June 15, the Faith Coalition on Gun Violence is collaborating with several community organizations to honor the Charleston Nine and other victims and survivors of gun violence and their families.

Participants will be invited to remember victims of gun violence by adding to the anti-violence memorial tree. The Rebuilding Individual Character Habits program also will recognize the anniversary by rededicating the Garden of Peace in Pacific Park.

The gun violence awareness memorial will take place at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday in Pacific Park at 200 Wayne St. The event is free and open to the public.

The “Hope in Harmony: An Artistic Conversation” will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Tapp’s Art Center on 1644 Main St. Tickets are $8 and are available online or by calling (803) 988-0013.

Categories: Local News