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Webinar ID: 893 0215 0940
JERSEY CITY LEGEND, THE SINGER MS MARY AIKEN, WILL BE INTERVIEWED MAY 5 @ 7:30pm EST via FB Live and Webinar
The Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents the fourth installment of the new talk series, “Black Space,” an ongoing series of intimate and candid conversations exploring the experiences of black artists in the world today, on Wednesday May 5 at 7:30pm EST. Series host Ashley Nicole Baptiste, JCTC’s associate artistic director, shines the spotlight on the beloved jazz singer and educator “Ms. Mary” Aiken, a Jersey City living legend, in a candid conversation about growing up in Jersey City, her career as a local entertainer and also her commitment to serving as a role model for young people.
A graduate of Ferris High School, Ms. Mary is not only a well-known longtime fixture on the stage of Moore’s Lounge (where she performs regularly), but she is also a devoted teacher and role model having worked with local youth for over 50 years in countless schools, day cares, libraries, and churches. She was the style columnist for the Jersey City magazine From Dusk Til Dawn, she’s taught modeling, puppetry, storytelling, sign language, acting and singing to students of every age. A keen-eyed witness to both the changes, durability and extraordinary diversity of Jersey City, Ms. Mary is a self-described “mom to all,” whose motto is “you treat people how you want to be treated, and they will treat you well!”
Baptiste, an actor and a veteran youth theatre educator with the JCTC Youth Theatre and the Stories of Greenville initiative, “I want to create an intentional safe space where black artists from around the world can come together and have a human-to-human exchange about art, race and life,” she says. “This series is about expansion, and pushing past pre-conceived notions of blackness.”
“As our city gentrifies while retaining its diversity, and indeed as the world is changing in fundamental ways, being right in the middle of these conversations is essential,” says JCTC’s artistic director, Olga Levina. “For us as a theatre company dedicated to sparking conversations that lead to deeper respect and understanding, we know we need to create a safe place to listen and learn and collaborate.”