What makes Alton unique? There are the pastel reds, pinks and oranges projected onto the bluffs overlooking a Mississippi sunset. There is the grain elevator that stands as a towering gateway into our historic downtown and the voices of a diverse population of active citizens working to make a better life for their families. There are also the challenges that Alton faces and there have been many over these past few months. Thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes, economic depression and rising gas prices, . It can be hard to make ends meet when it feels like gravity keeps pulling you down and it can be easy to forget that you are not alone, which is why Alton ArtCore is hosting a mixed-media performance that gives locals the chance to defy gravity by coming together as a community to celebrate our hometown.


Gravity and Grace, inspired by philosopher Simone Weil's book of the same title, explores how Alton and its residents overcome adversity and express grace in everyday life. On May 19th and 20th at the Alton ArtCore building Hilary Harper-Wilcoxen's Modern dancers and Hip-Hop dancer Godfred Fianu from Principia College will join together with local singer and songwriter Makena Gray to express grace not only through the performing arts, but also as members of the Alton community. The original music of Kenji Rei Yoshinobu, the installations of M. Frank Flavell and the photography of Jeffrey Vaughn, Graham Thatcher and Amelia Heron will serve as a backdrop to the performances and enable you to inhabit the unique expression of gravity and grace that makes Alton a town like none other. Before and after the show, an exhibit of oil paintings by local artists Jane Bullard, David Coughtry, Eric Gray, Jodie Mauer, Catherine Speer, and Shawn Wedel will be displayed in the front gallery of the Alton ArtCore building to illustrate the power of art to redeem and deliver.


Doors open at 6 PM on Thursday May 19th and Friday May 20th for the painting exhibit. The dance performance begins at 7:30 PM and will last until 9. All are welcome to meet the artists and have refreshments. Donations will be received for admission to the performance. The location is 515 East Third Street at the corner of Langdon St. in Downtown Alton.


Please go to www.altonartcore.org for further information including bios of the artists and a preview of the painting show. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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