*ABC has revealed a diverse lineup of talent to perform at the opening of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The special, titled “Taking the Stage – Changing America,” celebrates the unveiling of the museum with a two-hour program of music, dance and the spoken word. Stars will include Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl with go-go band Trouble Funk, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Common, NeYo, Patti Austin, The Alvin Ailey Dancers, Gary Clark Jr., Gladys Knight and The Howard Gospel Choir.
World-renowned dignitaries, athletes and artists from around the globe will come together for the program at Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.The production will be filmed on September 23 and will air on ABC stations nationwide in the 2016-2017 season.
Designed to explore and celebrate African American contributions to the global landscape, the program will feature new film footage of iconic items from the museum’s collections – items ranging from a plane used to train the famed Tuskegee airmen for World War II combat duty to a bible owned by Nat Turner. The film is accompanied by music, dance and dramatic readings by a wide range of stage and screen actors.
The executive producers are Don Mischer and Quincy Jones, along with Don Mischer Productions’ Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare.
According to NPR, the 400,000-square-foot museum stands on the National Mall near the Washington Monument. The art of the Yoruba people, with origins in Nigeria and Benin, inspired its tiered facade.
The majority of the exhibition space is underground. On the bottom level, museumgoers will find themselves in literal and metaphorical darkness: slavery. Then, as they ascend, visitors move through exhibits exploring the Jim Crow era and the civil rights movement, until finally reaching light and joy — above-ground galleries devoted to culture, music, dance, literature.