Skip to content

The 2024 Woods Hole Black History Month Celebration

Theme: African Americans and the Arts


Every year, members of the Woods Hole Community come together to celebrate Black History Month to build a stronger community through diversity. Our Committee serves the six scientific research institutions in the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. We have since the 1870’s been a hub and center for scientific discovery in the marine sciences, oceanography, fisheries sciences, medical research, and many more areas of STEM. The purpose of our Committee is to work towards an inclusive and welcoming place for all and hosting events, lectures, and talks each year around diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our governance.

About the 2024 theme, from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

"African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world."

We encourage you to read the rest of the description on the ASALH site.



All events are free and open to the public.

Some events/activities require advance registration for online participation, and others are in person. Details for each event are below.


"African Americans and the Arts"

Art Competition for Cape Cod High School Students

Submissions due:

Monday, February 12, 2024 at 5:00 PM

Art Competition Submission Form: CLICK HERE

Eight Cousins Square Logo

"Black Art and Activism: What America Means to Me"

with Robin Joyce Miller

2023-24 Falmouth Academy Community Series

Thursday, February 1, 2024

6:00 PM Art Show (2/1/24 - 2/14/24) & Reception

7:00 PM Interview by CAI's Mindy Todd

Falmouth Academy, Simon Center for the Arts, 7 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA


This event will be streamed live at:  Falmouth Academy Facebook Live Stream Link

Robin Joyce Miller v2

Robin Joyce Miller, a native New Yorker, retired to Cape Cod in 2012 after dedicating over thirty years to teaching in the NYC public school system. Her teaching journey began in special education and culminated as a highly celebrated visual arts teacher. In 2007, she earned the title of Art Educator of the Year at both the city and state levels. During the final seven years of her teaching career, Miller took on the role of a facilitator for NYC’s Blueprint for the Arts, leading teacher training in various city museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum. Through these workshops, she assisted educators in crafting inclusive and multicultural curricula that resonated with the diverse student population they served.

Miller possesses an impressive portfolio as a professional artist, author, poet, and public speaker. In 1992, she crafted a print ad for Pepsi honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., using the pseudonym, r.j. scribbles. Collaboratively with her husband, James W. Miller, she co-authored "The Faithful Journey—From Slavery to Presidency." She both wrote and illustrated "Who Do You Say That I Am—A Man Called Jesus," drawing inspiration from Ethiopian Christian art. Specializing in African-American Heritage art and poetry, her artwork from the book "A Humble Village" was displayed in the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the African American Museum of Hempstead, NY.

In May 2020, David Kuehn, the Executive Director of the Cotuit Center for the Arts (CCftA), approached Miller in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder, commissioning her to create an educational series that would illuminate black stories specifically for white audiences, deeply rooted in the history of the African diaspora. This initiative resulted in ten installments of her Black Lives Matter series, which she shared freely via YouTube and made available on Cotuit on Demand and

In May 2023, Miller joined the CCftA board, embarking on a mission to enhance representation across the organization, from the board to the stage, to mirror the diversity of the Cape Cod community. Miller also serves as a resident artist and volunteer at Zion Union Heritage Museum in Hyannis, MA.

"Women in Jazz and Gender Justice"

with Drummer/Composer Terri Lyne Carrington

Black History Month 2024 Lunchtime Lecture

Friday, February 9, 2024

12:00 PM Interview by CAI's Mindy Todd

WHOI, Redfield Auditorium, 45 Water Street, Woods Hole

This event will be streamed live. Please register here to receive the zoom link:

Teri Lyne Carrington headshot

Terri Lyne Carrington is an NEA Jazz Master, Doris Duke Artist, and four-time Grammy award-winning drummer, composer, producer, and educator. She serves as Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and as Artistic Director for both the Next Jazz Legacy program (a collaboration with New Music USA) and the Carr Center in Detroit, MI. She has performed on more than 100 recordings over her 40-year career and has toured and recorded with luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Esperanza Spalding, and numerous others. Her artistry and commitment to education have earned her an honorary doctorate from York University, Manhattan School of Music, and Berklee College of Music, and her curatorial work and music direction have been featured in many prestigious institutions internationally. The critically acclaimed 2019 release, Waiting Game, from Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science earned the esteemed Edison Award for music and a Grammy nomination. In the fall of 2022, she authored two books, Three of a Kind (about the forming of the Allen Carrington Spalding trio) and the seminal songbook collection, New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets By Women Composers. This book was accompanied by the album new STANDARDS vol.1 (Candid Records) which won the GRAMMY® Award for the best jazz instrumental album, and New Standards art installation, at Detroit’s Carr Center and the Emerson Contemporary Media Art Gallery, as part of the Jazz Without Patriarchy Project.

"Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project"

Woods Hole Film Festival "Dinner & A Movie Series"

Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 7:00 PM

WHOI, Redfield Auditorium, 45 Water Street, Woods Hole

7:00 pm - Welcome and Introductions
7:10 pm - Local poets read their work
7:30 pm  - Film screening
The Woods Hole Diversity Initiative through the DAC is subsidizing a limited number of tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis using this code: WHDAC2024 (limit 2 per customer). Regular ticket prices are $16, $12 for members, and $10 for students and the military.
Going to Mars Poster

Tickets can be purchased by visiting either of the following sites:


This is a feature documentary by Michelle Stephenson and Joe Brewster that takes us through the mindscape of legendary poet, Nikki Giovanni, as she reflects on her life and legacy. Nikki’s voice guides us across time and space, through dreams and remembrances, across decades of American history, as the film reimagines her most iconic work with visual lyricism fit for a poet. Present day finds Nikki in her late chapter of life, reckoning with health struggles and the inevitable march of time. However, in her art and dreams, Nikki ventures beyond her own lifetime, to Middle Passage and Mars, always keeping hold of possibility. She urges us to dream of a better future where equity and justice reign, and Black women lead, calling us to action with an unforgettable mantra: “We’re going to Mars.”

MA Arts Impact: An Executive Director's Perspective

Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director of the MA Cultural Council

Friday, February 16, 2024 at 12:00 PM

WHOI Redfield Auditorium, 45 Water Street, Woods Hole

This event will be streamed live. Please register here to receive the zoom link:

Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Michael J. Bobbitt is the highest-ranking cultural official in Massachusetts state government. Since his appointment in February 2021, the Council has made significant strides, including crafting its first Racial Equity Plan, securing and distributing a historic $60.1M in state pandemic relief for the cultural sector, and crafting and adopting its FY24-FY26 Strategic Plan. Michael’s prior roles as Artistic Director at New Repertory Theatre in MA and Adventure Theatre-MTC in MD established him as a driving force in professional regional theater and theater training. In 2023, he was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey to serve on her Advisory Council on Black Empowerment.

Michael J. Bobbitt

Michael’s extensive arts management, business, and race equity training includes programs at Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, Cornell University, LEADBoston, artEquity, and National Arts Strategies, culminating in achievements including the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for his dedication to the arts and educational theater. His contributions earned him recognition as one of Boston’s Most Influential Men of Color by Get Konnected!, Boston Business Journal’s 2023 Power 50 Movement Makers, and induction into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. Additionally, his impact resonated through his directorial and choreographic prowess has been showcased in renowned theaters nationwide and internationally, alongside his written works which have been featured in festivals and published by Concord Theatricals and Plays for Young Audiences. Michael's commitment to the arts has been acknowledged with awards like the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement), the Emerging Leader Award (Montgomery County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), MassOpera’s Action Bearing Award, and OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center’s Sojourner Truth Award, honoring his exceptional contributions to cultural enrichment and innovative leadership.



"The Middle" Celebrating the Many Forms Blackness Comes In"

Miranda and Krista Lawson, Dancers, Choreographers, & Performers

In their duet, sisters Miranda and Krista Lawson explore the complexities of being biracial. The piece researches different dance styles and their meeting points as a way of mirroring their experiences with two separate identities becoming one.

Miranda Lawson

Miranda Lawson (she/her) is a Boston-based dancer and choreographer. Originally from Somerville, Massachusetts, she trained primarily in contemporary and Hip-hop dance forms at The Studio Dance Complex (TSDC) where she frequently returns to teach. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Psychology from Mount Holyoke College, where she was recognized with awards in choreographic excellence and leadership through social justice work. She is currently partnering with Marissa Molinar and Midday Movement through the BIPOC Professional Dancer Mentorship program. Miranda was a choreographic resident through the Urbanity X Residency program for the 2022 season and has also shown her work at the American College Dance Association Conference.

Miranda Lawson, Urbanity

Krista Lawson

Krista Lawson (she/her) has training in many different dance styles her primary focuses being Hip-hop and contemporary. She is training in Five College Dance as she pursues her BFA at UMass Amherst. She has also trained at The Studio Dance Complex and Phunk Phenomenon Urban Dance Theater. She most recently collaborated with and performed in works by Shakia Barron, Tatiana Desardouin, Barbie Diewald, Jenna Riegel, and Jeff Jean-Philippe. Krista has performed in places such as Jacob’s Pillow and the American College Dance Association in 2022 and 2023.

Harambee Community Celebration

with Musical Guest Naomi Westwater & Friends

Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 5:30 PM

MBL Swope Center, 5 North Street, Woods Hole


Join us for food, fellowship, music, and an art exhibition of local high school students celebrating the contributions of African Americans as change-makers. All are welcome!

Please register for Harambee by Thursday, 2/22/24. 

Click HERE for the Harambee registration form.




Naomi Westwater (they/she) is a queer, Black-multiracial singer-songwriter from Massachusetts. Their work combines folk music, poetry, and spirituality. They hope that through ritual and storytelling, they can aid nature in the end of capitalism and the return of community, creativity, and collective joy. 

Westwater holds a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance and Production from Berklee College of Music and she is a part of The Club Passim Folk Collective. She was nominated for a 2021 and 2022 Boston Music Award for best singer-songwriter and has been featured in The Boston Globe, Under The Radar, WBUR, Vanyaland, WGBH, Allston Pudding, and The Bluegrass Situation. 

In addition to music, Westwater is on the faculty at Not Sorry Productions and leads the Boston Chapter of We Make Noise. More info @naomiwestwater and

Naomi Westwater

Additional Event Sponsored by MBL's Falmouth Forum:

"Before Brooklyn: The Unsung Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball's Color Barrier"

a Lecture by Journalist and Author, Ted Reinstein

Friday, February 23, 2024 at 7:30 PM

Clapp Auditorium, Lillie Building, MBL Campus

This lecture will be a spirited look back at the sixty years before Jackie Robinson, and the people—and a part of history—often overlooked: the everyday Americans of all kinds who helped pave the way for the first great Civil Rights victory of the 20th Century: breaking baseball's color barrier.

Ted Reinstein has been an award-winning reporter for “Chronicle,” WCVB/Boston’s celebrated—and America’s longest-running, locally-produced—nightly newsmagazine since 1997. He also sits on the station’s editorial board. He is the author of New England Notebook (Globe, 2013), Wicked Pissed (Globe, 2015), and co-author of New England’s General Stores (Globe, 2017). 

2024 WH DI Black History Month Series Planning Committee
Co-Chair, Amy Galvam, Falmouth Academy
Co-Chair, Amanda Poston, Woodwell Climate Research Center
Seth Ackerman, U.S. Geological Survey
Larry Alade, National Ocean and Atmospheric AdministrationAlfredo Aretxabaleta, National Ocean and Atmospheric AdministrationValeria Briones, Woodwell Climate Research Center
Bailey Fallon, Marine Biological Laboratory
Keri Mills, Marine Biological Laboratory
Sarah Moore, Woodwell Climate Research Center
Hauke Kite-Powell, Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute
Suzanne Thomas, Marine Biological LaboratoryKama Thieler, Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute
Kathy Weber, U.S. Geological Survey


2024 WH DI Black History Month Art Competition Judges
Alice Kociemba, Falmouth Cultural Council
Robin Joyce Miller, Cotuit Center for the Arts
Cedith Copenhaven, Highfield Hall
Claudia Smith-Jacobs, Falmouth Art Center