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Renowned local artists Tai Amri Spann-Ryan and Barry Washboard Barnes will join together to present readings and performances at the Lawrence Arts Center in conjunction with the ongoing Ghosts of Segregation exhibition of photos exploring the lingering presence of segregation, slavery and institutional racism hidden in everyday American architecture.

Spann-Ryan, 2016 Langston Hughes Poetry Award Recipient, is a co-founder of the collaborative group B.L.A.C.K. (Black Literature and Arts Collective of Kansas) Lawrence, where he organizes events and readings. He was the chief editor of Tendrel: Naropa University’s Journal on Diversity; self-published the chapbook Ancient Writings of Dark Prophet The Undisciplined Mystic; and has published work in Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices edited by Angelina Conti, and Justice Calls: Sermons of Welcome and Affirmation edited by Phil Snyder.

Spann-Ryan is also a driving force behind beautiful ashe: memoirs of a sweet black boy & more, a book project conceived as a response to the effects of the pandemic specifically in the Black community. At a time when Black people are seeking continued liberation, quarantine has exacerbated loss of income disproportionately affecting  Black people and Black artists. The beautiful ashe project was developed to provide financial security and incentive to other Black artists.

Barnes is a published poet, performance artist, loop artist, and professional washboard player. Barnes plays washboard for Zydeco Tougeau in Lawrence, and rubboard for Ernest James Zydeco out of Kansas City, Mo.

This event will also be live-streamed on YouTube at the link below:


November 20
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Lawrence Arts Center Gallery
940 New Hampshire St
Lawrence, KS 66044 United States