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"Women of Consequence" dancers (from left) Rachel DeLauder, Melissa Jones, Dianna Ruberto, April Singleton, Amber Rance and Ikira Peace perform in March at the Baby Grand Theatre in Wilmington for the launch of UD’s Partnership for Arts and Culture.
"Women of Consequence" dancers (from left) Rachel DeLauder, Melissa Jones, Dianna Ruberto, April Singleton, Amber Rance and Ikira Peace perform in March at the Baby Grand Theatre in Wilmington for the launch of UD’s Partnership for Arts and Culture.

Students present, perform

Photo by Jessica Eastburn

‘Women of Consequence’ showcased at conferences

Several University of Delaware students who were involved in the “Women of Consequence” project during the 2017-18 academic year recently contributed oral, poster and performance presentations at three national and international conferences.

“Women of Consequence: Ambitious, Ancillary, Anonymous” tells the stories of women who have contributed to the political landscape of America but have often been viewed as ancillary or, worse, anonymous.

Through the lens of arts-based research, the program incorporates dance, music, poetry, drama and the visual arts to bring the lives of these women to life.

The program culminated in a two-hour performance that showcased the students’ dance, poetry, music, visual arts and drama. All aspects of the performance were based on the historical research students conducted, beginning last summer, into the lives and important contributions of often-overlooked African American and African women.

In late June, students performed excerpts of the production for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council on Engagement and Outreach at a conference at Virginia Commonwealth University. An additional presentation was given by Ikira Peace, who shared her arts-integrated work with students with autism.

On July 1, students attended the Council on Undergraduate Research conference in Crystal City, Virginia, and provided examples of turning research for undergraduates into a performance arts-based research project.

At that conference, attended by more than 500 faculty and administrators from across the United States, the students performed the first act of “Women of Consequence.”

From July 4-15, a group traveled to Australia for the international conference of the nonprofit organization Dance and the Child (daCi).

Lynnette Young Overby, who is artistic director of “Women of Consequence” as well as a professor of theatre at UD and an internationally recognized dancer and choreographer, was recently elected director of research for daCi. 

Fourteen students and community partners attended the conference with Overby. Peace and fellow students Amber Rance and Rachel DeLauder presented posters and, with student April Singleton, served on a panel.

The “Women of Consequence” group also took part in a twinning project, an arts-based research performance with students from the University of Capetown, focused on specific women from the U.S. and from South Africa. Performers included Nicodemus Williams, Tierra Fair, Dianna Ruberto, Singleton, Rance, Peace and DeLauder. 

A photo-voice project, led by Ruberto, will continue the work after the students have returned to their home countries. 


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