The University of Central Arkansas College of Fine Arts and Communication is collaborating with the Oxford American, the Clinton School of Public Service and the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center to host a conversation with Terence Blanchard and Charles Blow to discuss the state of civil rights in the United States and the Black Lives Matter Movement, as well as the uniqueness of music and the arts as a catalyst for unity.

The discussion starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 19 at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 501 West 9th Street in Little Rock. A Q&A session and book signing will follow.

Reserve seats by emailing or calling 501-683-5239.

Terence Blanchard Photo credit  Henry Adebonojo

Terence Blanchard
Photo credit Henry Adebonojo

Since top-tier jazz and multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Blanchard embarked on his solo recording career with his eponymous Columbia Records album in 1991, the New Orleans-born and -based artist has traveled many paths musically, including delivering adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz outings of original material, composing more than 50 soundtracks and even, in 2013, debuting “Champion: An Opera in Jazz.” He has also, in the spirit of his onetime membership in the jazz school of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, mentored several musicians in his bands who have gone on to have significant recording careers of their own, including Lionel Loueke, Aaron Parks, Kendrick Scott and one of his current band members, Fabian Almazan.

Charles Blow

Charles Blow

Blow is an op-ed columnist at The New York Times, where his column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. His columns tackle hot-button issues, such as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Blow is also a CNN commentator and a presidential visiting professor at Yale, where he teaches a seminar on media and politics. In addition, he is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling memoir, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.”