Arts and culture night set for Tuesday at Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex


QUINCY — Arts Quincy invites the community to a free family arts event at Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex on from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11.

The headline entertainment is Okra Dance Company from Chicago. A free barbeque dinner will be provided by Big Bros BBQ through a sponsorship by Blessing Health System.

Families can visit arts organization booths for activities and to learn more about arts programming for kids. Participating organizations include the Quincy Children’s Museum, Quincy Public Library and The Art Center with a pottery wheel and air-dry clay.

The evening’s opening act is The Beat Arts Academy at 6 p.m., followed by the Okra Dance Company taking the stage at 6:30 p.m.

Audiences will look forward to the show “Roots to Rap: Evolutions of American Rhythm.” The performance takes attendees on a 400-year journey through American cultural history (in just 45 minutes) to explore the ideas and innovators that created the blues, jazz, rock and roll, hip-hop and other uniquely American forms of music and dance.

Okra Dance Company is a group of professional dancers, musicians and artist-educators of African descent who use movement, rhythm, song and storytelling to honor and celebrate community traditions and innovations from all over the world — and in particular, those of the people of the Black African diaspora.

“We are adept at seamlessly weaving history, dance, humor and audience interaction into a community-building experience unique to each event,” Shireen Dickson, director, said in a press release.

The group performs shows for youths and multigenerational audiences at schools, libraries, museums, festivals and theater across the country.

“We are so excited to provide this free opportunity to the entire community so they can have a unique experience in African American culture,” said Laura Sievert, Arts Quincy Executive Director.

These programs are made possible through community collaboration and funding through Arts Quincy, J.W. Gardner II Foundation, Blessing Health System and the Illinois Arts Council.

For more information, contact Arts Quincy through email at or call 217-222-3432.

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