“You’ve Gotta Run”

Penn Center has partnered with composer Kevin Simmonds to create a literary performance titled “You’ve Gotta Run,” based on the book The Many Lives of Andrew Young about the eponymous Civil Rights hero, congressman, mayor, and ambassador. The program will take place on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. at Penn Center. SC Humanties supported this program with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

“You’ve Gotta Run” will combine spoken word poetry, song, and historical recordings and will examine Andrew Young’s lifetime efforts to achieve racial, social, and economic equity globally. The performance will be presented in the context of a supper theater presentation that will include a light menu and refreshments. Tickets are $20 and include the meal.

6:00 pm Catered Supper
6:30 pm  Performance
7:00 pm  Audience Enhancement with the Artists

New Orleans/ Gullah Gumbo over Rice
Tossed Salad
French Bread
Bread Pudding

The artists who will appear in “You’ve Gotta Run” have a legacy of powerful work and public performances:

Kevin Simmonds is from New Orleans and has performed his music at places such as the National Black Theatre Festival, Nakano Sun Plaza (Tokyo), FOKAL (Port-au-Prince) and Southbank Centre (London). He has received commissions from the Pulitzer Center, San Francisco Arts Commission, Creative Work Fund and University of South Carolina, among others. His most recent book is The Monster I am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse.

Valetta Brinson, a native soprano has performed throughout the US, the UK, Japan and the Caribbean, specializing in opera, concert music and Negro spirituals. Among others, she has performed with the Nashville Opera Association, Mississippi Opera Association and Opera Memphis, and at venues such as Tennessee State University, Allen University, University of Miami, University of South Carolina, Georgia State, and the Memphis Black Arts Alliance. In 2004, she debuted the role of Coretta Scott King in the opera The Promise by composer John Baur. Brinson is currently Associate Professor of Music at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Celia Teasdel Johonson is a native South Carolinian who is completing a graduate degree in Performing Arts-Choral Conducting at the University of South Carolina. A frequent performer throughout South Carolina, she debuted notable productions such as Ota Benga Under My Mother’s RoofWisteria: Twilight Songs from the Swamp Country, and In Dis Here Skin. Johnson serves as an Adjunct Professor of Music Appreciation at the WL Bonner Bible College in Columbia, SC.

To purchase tickets, please contact Dr. Charlene Spearen, 843-838-8549.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.