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This immersive show dispels the myths of Black swimming in Charlotte
There are few better feelings on a hot summer day than dipping into the cool water of a pool or a lake — no matter the color of your skin.
The creators of a new immersive experience titled "SwimCap" hope to share that feeling with Charlotte audiences this weekend, and dispel the notion that swimming isn't for African Americans.
The small ensemble of actors began a rehearsal this week by taking deep breaths — the kind a swimmer might take before plunging into the deep end. And the actors in this new work by Mixed Metaphors Productions are taking a plunge.
‘SwimCap’ Aims to Correct the Narrative Around Black People and Swimming
Given the myth surrounding Black people and swimming that pervades society, this experience is clearly necessary and important. Jones and Martin agree that this is inarguable.
“Knowledge is power, for one, and oftentimes us in the Black community are led in the opposite direction of what is factual,” Jones said. “So it’s important that we show that we do swim. We’ve been swimming. You can swim. The fear is in oneself, not in the actual act. So most people, once they learn about something, it’s easier for them to actually do.”
“Working with Evolutionary Aquatics, their entire mission is that the African Diaspora is a deeply, deeply rich connection to swimming and aquatics and the water and boats and the ocean and all of that,” Martin continued. “A lot of these myths, which are, more bluntly put, lies, are very constructed.”
QC Nerve Best in the Nest Winner
Best Food for a Cause:
FixaPlate offered us the opportunity to dig deeper into the way food, family, development, and culture impacts how we experience life. With input from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Coullors and benefiting a ton of community partners, FixaPlate was an imaginative, innovative example of what community theater can accomplish.
Alexandra Walker for Charlotte is Creative
WINED, DINED AND GENTRIFIED
At any table where there is talk of government-sponsored housing displacement over dinner, you might also be served side dishes of side-eye glances, under-the-table kicks and quieting coughs.
Rarely would you find yourself in the middle of such a discussion amidst a jubilee of dance, theater and interactive art installations. And yet, that is the experience Kat Martin and her production company, Mixed Metaphors, intend to dish out.
Jodie Valade for WFAE:
'FixaPlate' And Gather 'Round To Learn About Charlotte's History Through Food:
By using theater and installation art and food, we want to take something that we all know and ignore, and put it in our bodies through art and through celebration and through genuine talking to each other,” Martin said.
In practice that means a theatrical scene, followed by a visit to an art installation. Another scene, and another art viewing. That continues until the conclusion — which is a meal provided by the restaurant Grinning Mule.
Recipes of the food that will be served come from virtual potluck events she’s held since the start of this year, and include everything from chicken and dumplings to collard greens and everything in between.
Community is a multifaceted thing, so it only makes sense that one represents community with a multifaceted approach. That’s the idea behind FixaPlate, a festival-like theatrical experience being mounted in west Charlotte’s Reid Park neighborhood this weekend.
Audience members are invited to travel around the exhibit, engage with art and performers, then gather together over a shared experience and, of course, a plate of delicious food. Part festival, part activist statement, part art show, and part dining event, FixaPlate intends to ask questions and inspire new ideas about what Charlotte is and who it is for.
Bring the family for a weekend at FixaPlate, an outdoor theater and dining experience that traces the history of gentrification in Charlotte through the lens of art and a family kitchen.