Please note that limited galleries remain open while we install our upcoming exhibitions. Learn more


Now Dig This! artists Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger perform a collaborative project with Ulysses Jenkins in which they reimagine their works in the exhibition galleries.

Roger Guenveur Smith and Marc Anthony Thompson premiere Twenty Twenty, their new multimedia performance about black music created and fostered in L.A. from 1960 to 1980. Smith and Thompson are your sonic tour guides through this impressionistic survey of distinctive music that includes Odetta's spirituals, free jazz, psychedelic rock, and the funky soul of the Brothers Johnson.

Renowned poets Jayne Cortez and Kamau Daaood are joined by emerging L.A. poets Thea Monyee and Javon Johnson for an evening celebrating the art of the spoken word. Hosted by Shihan Van Clief.

Constant Elevation: The L.A. Black Arts Movement Through Spoken Word
November 1, 2011. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, moderates a discussion with artists John Outterbridge and Andrew Zermeño, and collector Stan Sanders regarding the past and future of Watts as a creative hub.

Gallerist Alonzo Davis and collectors Vaughn Payne and Joy Simmons join curator Franklin Sirmans and art historian Karin Higa to talk about the importance of galleries and collectors in creating an African American art community in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s. (This program is titled after a work by artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville featured in the exhibition.)

Taste and Style Just Aren’t Enough
November 15, 2011. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Pioneering artists Barbara McCullough and Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, curator Josine Ianco-Starrels, and gallerist Suzanne Jackson gather to reflect on gender politics in art, then and now. Moderated by art historian Bridget Cooks. Title is the subtitle of the exhibition The Sapphire Show curated by Suzanne Jackson at Gallery 32 in 1970 and also a slogan from an ad for Virginia Slims cigarettes at that time.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
December 4, 2011. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Scholars Robin D. G. Kelley (USC/UCLA), Jacqueline Stewart (Northwestern University), and Daniel Widener (UCSD) discuss black artists in Southern California through history, and the role of geography, migration, and economics in creating the potent mix that produced the Black Arts Movement. Moderated by Now Dig This! curator Kellie Jones.

Race, pLAce, and bLAck L.A.
December 8, 2011. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2010 MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran is a pianist, composer, and bandleader who mines a variety of musical styles to create adventurous, genre-crossing jazz performances. Moran marries established classical, blues, and jazz techniques with the musical influences of his generation, including funk, hip-hop, and rock. His albums include Modernistic, Same Mother, and Ten. The performance is followed by a discussion with Guthrie Ramsey, professor of music at the University of Pennsylvania, exploring the themes of migration and music.

Now Dig This! curator Kellie Jones and her fatherrenowned poet, playwright, and activist Amiri Barakadiscuss their collaboration on Jones's book I, which investigates various perspectives on art making throughout different generations.

Amiri Baraka and Kellie Jones
January 8, 2012. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Artists Maren Hassinger, Senga Nengudi, and Ulysses Jenkins continue to reimagine Kiss, first performed in the late 1970s and reimagined for the October 2011 opening of Hammer's Now Dig This!. Special guests Baba Alade, Michael Delgado, Ava Hassinger, VinZula Kara, Barbara McCullough, Nobuko Miyamoto, Rudy Perez, Cheryl Banks-Smith, Stephen "Breeze" Smith, David Strother, May Sun, and L. Martina Young  participate in this iteration. Encouraged to "accentuate the positive" and to be "infused with joy," each guest contributes a chapter in his or her own individual style. A meditation on pride and self-confidence, Walking Tall culminates in an interactive audience experience.

Walking Tall rehearsal scenes, Hammer Museum
January 26, 2012. Filmed by Stephen Burr, SeeHear Studios

In conjunction with the opening of Now Dig This! at MoMA PS1, Courtesy the Artists (Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade of My Barbarian) presents a program of performances responding to the music of African American activist Elaine Brown, whose 1969 album, Seize the Time, was produced by the Black Panther Party. Courtesy the Artists' program features artists and musicians Niv Acosta, LaTasha Diggs, Charles Gaines, Simone Leigh, Adam Pendleton, Matana Roberts, Xaviera Simmons, Samita Sinha, Geo Wyeth, and others. A review of this program from sound studies blog "Sounding Out!" can be found here.

Golden and Lowry examine how institutions document movements, artistic communities, and artists' histories on the occasion of the MoMA PS1 exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980.

This full-day symposium explores the relationship and parallels between the African American artistic communities in Los Angeles and New York through examining the social and cultural atmosphere of the 1970s in both cities, the significance of the Just Above Midtown artist space to the New York community, and the influences these artists have on their contemporaries. Participants include exhibition curator Kellie Jones, with scholars C. Ondine Chavoya and Komozi Woodard, curators Franklin Sirmans and Naima Keith, and filmmaker and founder of Just Above Midtown Linda Goode Bryant. Participating artists include Lorraine O’Grady, Ulysses Jenkins, Steffani Jemison, Xaviera Simmons, Sanford Biggers, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kira Harris.

Video: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

A day of events including "EyeMinded: A Conversation with Kellie Jones and Amiri Baraka" and a performance of Kiss by Ulysses Jenkins, Maren Hassinger, and Senga Nengudi.

Williamstown Theatre Festival actors mine Now Dig This! for inspiration, and animate the galleries with an artful performance.

A conversation between curator Kellie Jones and artists Alonzo Davis, Maren Hassinger, and Ian White. 

A Celebration of "Now Dig This!" Conversation
September 19, 2013. Williams College, Williamstown, MA

Now Dig This! artists Alonzo Davis, Maren Hassinger, and Ian White speak with Williams College students.

In response to the material and performative potential of Now Dig This!, Will Rawls's Decline with Regrets, a Revival considers whether performance can, temporarily, reconstruct history, and whether a museum can be a space for questioning the past rather than operating as a confident archive of history.

In this lecture at Williams College, Now Dig This! artist Senga Nengudi discusses her life and work.

2013 Plonsker Family Lecture: Artist Senga Nengudi
Novermber 2, 2013. Williams College, Williamstown, MA