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Clinton Turner Davis

Theatrical director Clinton Turner Davis was born on April 9, 1949 in Washington, D.C. to Josephine Davis and Clinton Davis. Davis attended McKinley Technical High School, where he performed in plays and was president of the thespian club. He briefly attended Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, but received his B.F.A. degree in theater from Howard University in 1972.

After being cast in Slaughterhouse Play at the Public Theatre in New York City, Davis began his career with the Negro Ensemble Company in 1972 as the production stage manager for The Great Macdaddy at St. Mark’s Playhouse. Throughout the 1970s, Davis served as the stage manager for a succession of Negro Ensemble Company productions, including Eden, Nevis Mountain Dew, Old Phantoms: A Play in Two Acts, The Sixteenth Round, Zooman and the Sign, Weep Not for Me and Home. In 1982, Davis made his directorial debut with Abercrombie Apocalypse: An American Tragedy at Westside Arts Theatre in New York City. Produced by Negro Ensemble Company and written by playwright Paul Carter Harrison, the off-Broadway drama starred Graham Brown, Timothy B. Lynch, and Barbara Montgomery. Davis would go on to direct Pearl Cleage’s first play, Puppetplay, at Theatre Four in New York City in 1982, and serve as the stage manager for Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music in 1983. Additional Negro Ensemble Company productions directed by Davis in the 1980s included Two Can Play, House of Shadows and That Serious He-Man Ball. In 1986, Davis co-founded the Non-Traditional Casting Project. He then directed his first August Wilson play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, California in 1989. At the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1993, Davis directed Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, which was the festival’s first produced work by an African American playwright. In 2013, he directed Charles Fuller’s One Night.... Davis was an associate professor of drama at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Davis served as a director for the American Young Playwrights Festival in New York City. He was a guest lecturer at Yale University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, The Ohio State University, and Howard University; and directed theatrical productions at The Juilliard School, Brandeis University, and Colorado College. Davis received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Howard University, in addition to Dallas Theatre, Bay Area, and Drama-logue Critics’ Awards. In 2015, Davis received the Lloyd Richards Directors Award from the National Black Arts Festival.

Clinton Turner Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 25, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/25/2016

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Turner

Schools

Charles E. Young Elementary School

Barnard Elementary School

Keene Elementary School

MacFarland Middle School

LaSalle-Backus Education Center

McKinley Technology High School

Hanover College

Hunter College

First Name

Clinton

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

DAV38

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Carolina

Favorite Quote

And there you have it. -- It speaks for itself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/9/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Theatrical director Clinton Turner Davis (1950- ) began his career with Negro Ensemble Company in 1972. He has directed numerous off-Broadway productions, including works by Pearl Cleage, Paul Carter Harrison and August Wilson.

Employment

Colorado College

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of California, Berkeley

Yale University

Ohio State University

Howard University

Apollo Theater

Colorado Festival of World Theatre/Market Theatre Tre

Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games

Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Artists Residency

Anna Deavere Smith Project

First National Symposium on Non-Traditional Casting

Favorite Color

Green, orange, black

Alvia Wardlaw

Art historian and curator Alvia J. Wardlaw was born on November 5, 1947 to Virginia Cage and Alvin Wardlaw. She was raised in Houston, Texas and graduated from Jack Yates High School in 1965. Wardlaw earned her B.A. degree in art history from Wellesley College in 1969, and her M.A. degree in art history from New York University in 1986. In 1996, she became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. degree in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.

From 1972 to 1974, Wardlaw worked as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (MFAH). In 1974, she was promoted to associate curator of primitive art and education and was also hired as an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University, where she went on to serve as assistant and associate professor of art history. From 1973 to 1989, Wardlaw curated a number of exhibitions at various institutions, including African Tribal Art (1973); Roy DeCarava: Photographs (1975); Ceremonies and Visions: The Art of John Biggers (1980); Homecoming: African American Family History in Georgia (1982); John Biggers: Bridges (1986); and the 1989 watershed exhibition Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art for the Dallas Museum of Art. She subsequently served as an adjunct curator of African American art at the Dallas Museum, and, in 1995, was named curator of modern and contemporary art for the MFAH. Wardlaw went on to organize The Art of John Biggers: View from the Upper Room (1995); The Quilts of Gee’s Bend (2002); Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art (2003); and Notes from a Child’s Odyssey: The Art of Kermit Oliver (2005). Wardlaw also became director/curator of the University Museum at Texas Southern University, and continued to work as curator of modern and contemporary art at the MFAH until 2009, when she retired from her position.

Wardlaw has received numerous honors and awards. She was a Fulbright Fellow in West Africa in 1984, won a Fulbright Award for study in Tanzania, East Africa in 1997, was a Senior Fellow for the 2001 American Leadership Forum, and was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1994. She also received the Award of Merit from the University of Texas at Austin and the Ethos Founders Award from Wellesley College, was recognized as an African American Living Legend by African American News and Issues, and was named Texas Southern University’s Research Scholar of the Year in 2009. In addition, Black Art Ancestral Legacy was named Best Exhibition of 1990 by D Magazine, and The Quilts of Gee’s Bend received the International Association of Art Critics Award in 2003.

Wardlaw has served on the Advisory Boards of the National Black Arts Festival and Hampton University, as well as the Scholarly Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture. She was also a co-founder of the National Alliance of African and African American Art Support groups in 1998.

Wardlaw lives in Houston, Texas.

Alvia Wardlaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 7, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.155

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/7/2014 |and| 12/3/2016

Last Name

Wardlaw

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Schools

Jack Yates High School

Wellesley College

New York University

University of Texas at Austin

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alvia

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

WAR18

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any where near water, Tanzania

Favorite Quote

Peace, love and adventures every day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

11/5/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ethiopian

Short Description

Art history professor and curator Alvia Wardlaw (1947 - ) is professor of art history and director/curator of the University Museum at Texas Southern University. She served as the curator of modern and contemporary art for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from 1995 to 2009, and has curated the award-winning exhibits, Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art and The Quilts of Gee’s Bend.

Employment

Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

Texas Southern University

Dallas Museum of Art

University Museum at Texas Southern University

Favorite Color

No, that changes from orange to blue