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Book Club Discussion: The Real Ambassadors
Fri, February 24th at 12:00 PM
The NOMA Book Club meets monthly to discuss fiction and non-fiction books related to art in NOMA’s collection and exhibitions. It is an informal group open to anyone on a month-to-month basis. In addition to monthly book discussions, the book club meets periodically for curatorial programs related to the book selections. You do not have to attend every meeting or read every book to join.
Book selections are inspired by the museum’s exhibition schedule. Participants are expected to procure their own copies, and selections are also available at the NOMA Museum Shop, where museum members receive a 10% discount.
Meetings are held in person or via Zoom. All meetings begin at 12 pm.
For more information on the NOMA Book Club, please contact NOMA’s Curator of Education, Tracy Kennan, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.658.4113.
Book Club Discussion | Friday, February 24, 12 pm
The Real Ambassadors: Dave and Iola Brubeck and Louis Armstrong Challenge Segregation by Keith Hatschek
University Press of Mississippi, 2022, ISBN-13: 978-1496837844
During the Cold War, the US State Department enlisted some of America’s greatest musicians to serve as jazz ambassadors, touring the world to trumpet a so-called “free society.” Honored as celebrities abroad, the jazz ambassadors, who were overwhelmingly African Americans, returned home to racial discrimination and deferred dreams. Three determined artists–Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and Iola Brubeck used this double standard as the central message and take a stand against segregation by writing and performing a jazz musical titled The Real Ambassadors. First conceived by the Brubecks in 1956, the musical’s journey to the stage for its 1962 premiere tracks extraordinary twists and turns across the backdrop of the civil rights movement. A variety of colorful characters, from Broadway impresarios to gang-connected managers, surface in the compelling storyline.
Education and outreach initiatives at NOMA are supported in part by the Zemurray Foundation; the Lois and Lloyd Hawkins Jr. Foundation; The Helis Foundation; The Gayle and Tom Benson Foundation; The City of New Orleans; IBERIABANK; The Wagner Foundation; Janice Parmelee and Bill Hammack; the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, funded by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation; Sara and David Kelso; Patrick F. Taylor Foundation; Dr. Scott S. Cowen; The RosaMary Foundation; The Azby Fund; the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency; The Collins C. Diboll Private Foundation; Burkenroad Foundation; Marian Dreux Van Horn Education Endowment; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Ruby K. Worner Trust through the PNC Charitable Trusts Grant Review Committee; The Harry T. Howard III Foundation; New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.; Harvey and Marie Orth; The Bruce J. Heim Foundation; and Mrs. Bennett A. Molter, Jr. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.