Fahari’s Harold Steward on KERA’s Art&Seek

Harold Steward

In this piece from Thursday, KERA’s Jerome Weeks talked to Harold Steward, artistic director of Fahari Arts Institute, as the organization begins its third season. Opening with two art shows (and a special edition of Queerly Speaking for Dallas Black Pride), Steward discusses Fahari’s confidence going into a new season, and some of that is due to the piece’s mention of the three Dallas Voice Reader’s Choice Awards the organization won. Collectively, the group won for Best Local Arts Organization, Best Theater Director for Steward for Fahari-produced The Bull-Jean Stories, and Q-Roc Ragsdale as Best Actress for the same show.

Steward: “Of course, it’s all based off of popular vote. But you know, we looked at it, and said, ‘Here we are, a volunteer staff, an even more volunteer budget because we don’t know what it is, and how do we come away with three awards when no other organization does?’ Well, that speaks to the people and their beliefs in this . . . What we’re doing is building community.”

We highlighted Steward and Fahari back in January.

—  Rich Lopez

Sneak preview of FWO's 'Before Night Falls,' the story of a gay man in Fidel Castro's Cuba

DVtv’s Cindy Chaffin reports:

Last night I attended the KERA/Art&Seek panel discussion, “Before Night Falls: Relationships, Politics and Opera,” at the Robert J. O’Donnell Lecture-Recital Hall at SMU. KERA’s Jerome Weeks led the panel discussion which featured composer and librettist Jorge Martín, costume designer Claudia Stephens and the oh-so-yummy star of the opera, Wes Mason.

Here’s what the Fort Worth Opera tells us about the upcoming production:

“As Reinaldo Arenas lies dying of AIDS in New York City, he remembers his beloved homeland before and after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. Born in extreme poverty, Arenas joins Castro’s rebellion as a teen. As he matures, he realizes that Castro is not interested in a free Cuba after all. A rising poet and writer, he defies Castro when a manuscript is smuggled out of the country and published in France. Embarrassed by the bad publicity, the regime imprisons Arenas for being a homosexual. After imprisonment and torture, he agrees to stop writing as a condition of his release, but can not handle his ‘silence’ for long. He escapes to the U.S. in the Mariel exodus, but during his new found freedom outside of Cuba he contracts HIV/AIDS. He rushes to complete his memoir before he commits suicide to end his suffering.”

This short video is a taste of what to expect. Just imagine fabulous costumes, an impressive set design and a backing symphony. Personally, I’m going to imagine Wes Mason shirtless. “Before Night Falls” runs May 29 through June 6.

—  John Wright