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Tri-Campus Thursday: Black Images talent show to showcase Black arts and culture

The Black Cultural Arts Council (BCAC) will put on Black Images, a talent show, Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Washington Hall. 

Senior Zoë Bonnichsen is the vice president of BCAC. She said the event will feature a wide range of talent.

“We have spoken word poetry performances, a rap and bass performance, several dance performances from step dance troupes to tap dance troupes,” Bonnichsen said. “We also have several singing performances from bands to gospel choir groups.”

BCAC is an on-campus cultural organization with the goal of responding to the needs of the Black community by sponsoring, promoting and supporting intellectual, spiritual, social and arts and community service programs. The council seeks to create a space that advances the values and customs within the Black diaspora.

The group also hosts events like Paint and Sip, where students can make art together, a fashion show that celebrates the impact of Black culture on design and the Black Diamond Ball, a formal for members of the organization.

Chinaza Udekwe is a senior and the emcee of the event. Udekwe, who started writing poetry in high school, will also be performing some of his own works at the show.

“I’m excited to hear the other poets,” Udekwe said. “It’s always good to gain some inspiration from other people and see different people’s perspectives.”

Sophomore Frances Ubogu, an international student from Nigeria, is the coordinator and stage manager for Black Images. She recalled how she first got involved with BCAC.

“When I was a freshman, I went to Black Images because my friend Vongai had invited me to come watch Dance Africa at the show,” Ubogu said. “And I thought it was really cool.”

This encouraged Ubogu to become involved with planning this year’s event, finding talent for the show’s 11 acts and organizing logistics for rehearsal equipment. 

Ubogu said that the audience will vote to choose the winners of the talent show.

“There will be a QR code attached to the back of the program. Audience members can scan it and pick their top-three favorite acts,” she said. “The first-place winner gets $100 and a certificate, second-place winner gets $60 and a certificate and third-place winner gets $40 and a certificate.”

Ubogu hopes Black Images will give students an opportunity to showcase their talents.

“I hope that freshmen and people who aren’t yet involved feel like, ‘That’s something I can definitely do,’” Ubogu said. “Just like for me last year.”

“We have an incredibly rich, culturally diverse campus and we really want to make sure that we’re highlighting what the arts look like,” Bonnischen said. “Not just for the Black community, but really just for the community as a whole.”

Bonnichsen also hopes that Black Images will be a fun way for students to engage with different cultures and art forms.

“It can get people out of their comfort zones to perform,” she said. “And I think it can also bring … the wider Notre Dame community to really engage with these incredible, talented people and their works of art.”

Students can purchase tickets for the show with card or cash at the box office in LaFortune Student Center for $5 or at the door before the show at Washington Hall for $7.

Contact Angela Matthew at amathew3@nd.edu.

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