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Thursday, December 27, 2012

African Americans Highlighted in WWII Art Exhibit; Opening Jan. 25

Waterbury, Conn. - A stirring and historical art exhibit is coming to campus this month, offering a unique opportunity for the community to revisit an important time in American history. The exhibit, "Proud to be in the Service: Images of African Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II," will tell the story of African Americans serving both on and off the battlefield in WWII through a collection of black and white photographs. 

In honor of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the exhibit will open Fri., Jan. 25, just 10 days after the nation celebrates Dr. King's birthday, and remain on campus until April 4, 2013. An opening reception will be held from 6 -7 p.m. in the Leever Atrium Gallery in the Fine Arts Center, and feature period-expert authors and artists. The event is free and open to the public.

William H. Foster III, professor of English at NVCC, was essential in bringing the project together and will serve as the exhibit curator while the display remains on campus.

“It is my hope to have this exhibit start conversations for a number of groups in Waterbury,” said Professor Foster. “This is an important way for our campus to reach out to a number of audiences at the same time.”

A long-time researcher of images of African Americans in print, Professor Foster has been an expert commentator for CNN News and National Public Radio. In 2012, he presented as far as the AltCom Comics Festival in Malmo, Sweden, and the Comics Forum in Leeds, England.

In complement to his work, Foster is also helping to recruit actors for a 1938 play, "Stars & Bars," that was written for the Negro Unit of the General Theatre Project in Connecticut but never made it to the stage. The script, which was made available recently to the Mattatuck Museum in cooperation with The Library of Congress and the Federal Theatre Project Archives at George Mason University, sheds light on the history and status of African Americans in the Hartford area. A performance is scheduled for Jan. 29 and will be directed by former NVCC Theater Director, Ed Wierzbicki.

For more information on the exhibit or the play, contact Professor Foster at or 203-596-8612. Click here for directions to the College.

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