Specially dedicated to the memory of the late Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020), donations for the concert will support our arts and education initiatives for BIPOC and minoritized HS students for arts immersion and support towards college pathways.


Virginia's newly appointed Poet Laureate Dr. Luisa A. Igloria will be delivering the keynote poetry reading.​


Marcus Bengzon is a rising fourth year student at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He is double majoring in philosophy and Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies and is fascinated about how the disciplines overlap. As Historian of Filipino American Student Association’s 2021 Executive Board, Marcus is passionate about telling the story of Filipino Americans at W&M in various mediums with an emphasis on alumni history. In seeking to attend law school following undergrad, he wants to work on immigration policy, rehabilitation in the criminal justice system, and diversity in government. Under Professor Tanglao Aguas, Marcus has completed three courses: Filipino American Diaspora, Acting Asian American, and Beyond Kung Fu: Asians in Film.

songs of freedom: concert for civil rights


AUG 28. 7pm (EST).

Various diverse artists gather to offer song, dance, and poetry to commemorate civil rights milestones of August 28 like the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream Speech (1963), and the death anniversary of Emmett Till (1955.)






Xavi Soto Burgos was born and raised in the Bronx. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting with great teachers such as David Deblinger. On stage he has had the pleasure of portraying roles such as Paul in A Chorus Line, Flip in Our Lady of 121st Street, and Gomez Addams in The Addams Family. Most recently he appeared in Identity Production Studios' short film Solo Orange and is working on a movie musical entitled Numinous. When he's not on stage he is in the kitchen on his Youtube cooking show “Bronx Boys Kitchen”.


Regie Cabico is the first Asian American and queer poet to win the Nuyoircan Poets Cafe Grand Slam, later taking top prizes in 3 National Poetry Slams. He has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, TEDx Talk and NPR's Snap Judgement. His plays have been produced at The Humana Theater Festival, Joe's Pub The Public Theater, Dixon Place, the Kitchen & Theater Offensive. He received a New York Innovative Theater award for his work with the New York Neo-Futurists' Production of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind.


Alana Canty-Samuel, William and Mary ’18. Currently, Alana is an NYC based theatre professional, working for the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, a non-profit that supports theatre and Off-Broadway.


Quan Chau is thrilled to be a part of Coming Out Asian-American! A rising senior and Theatre/Biology major at William and Mary, he has recently been in the ensemble of Rolling the R’s (Aguas Arts & Ink). Other favorite roles include Robin Oakapple in Ruddigore (William and Mary), and Sky Square in Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical (Virginia Repertory Theatre). As a Catron Scholar at W&M, Quan spends his free time wracking his brain for ideas to write his own show, and binge watching movies.


Wilma B. Consul has performed in theater and dance in San Francisco, New York, Hawai'i, the Philippines and Washington, DC, where she lives and works in the fields of culinary arts and journalism. She trained as an actor and director under Chris Millado at TnT/Teatro ng Tanan (Theater for Everyone), a groundbreaking cultural organization in San Francisco that produced and toured major productions on the Filipino American diaspora. She helped produce readings of Rolling the R's in its early stages in San Francisco to a standing-room only reading at the Source Theatre in DC.


Leah Glenn received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Choreographic Theory and Practice from Southern Methodist University, her Teacher's Certification in Labanotation from Ohio State University and has worked with the Philadelphia Dance Company. Prior to teaching at William and Mary Ms. Glenn was Assistant Professor and Head of Dance at Hampton University for two years. While at Hampton, she directed the Terpsichorean Dance Company and established the first African American chapter of the National Dance Association's Nu Delta Alpha Honor Society. Her choreography has been presented by the College of William and Mary, Hampton University and Colonial Williamsburg. Prior to Lynchtown by Charles Weidman, her most recent reconstruction from Labanotation was a Paul Taylor Dance Company work entitled, The Word. Several of her original works have been presented at the annual International Association for Blacks in Dance Conferences. In addition to her title of Professor of Dance at William & Mary, she is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Leah Glenn Dance Theatre (LGDT). LGDT has presented concerts at the Katzen Museum, Dance, the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Their most recent performance was the closing event for the ASWAD (Association for the Study of Worldwide African Diaspora) Conference on November 9, 2019 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.


Kristin Hopkins is a Virginia Beach, VA native. She attended William & Mary (2015) and William & Mary Law School (JD 2018). She is now a licensed attorney working in New York, NY. Her credits include: Fame, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ruined, 8 the Play, Crowns, Spring Awakening, and she was selected to perform in BroadwayCon's "Star to Be" Competition.


Professor Luisa A. Igloria has just been appointed by Governor Ralph Northam as Poet Laureate of Virginia for 2020-2022. Originally from Baguio City in the Philippines, Luisa is one of 2 Co-Winners of the 2019 Crab Orchard Poetry Prize for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). In 2015, she was the inaugural winner of the Resurgence Prize (UK), the world's first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. Former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey selected her chapbook What is Left of Wings, I Ask as the 2018 recipient of the Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Prize. Other works include The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2018), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), and 12 other books. Her poems are widely published or appearing in national and international anthologies, and print and online literary journals including Orion, Shenandoah, Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, Diode, Missouri Review, Rattle, Poetry East, Your Impossible Voice, Poetry, Shanghai Literary Review, Cha, Hotel Amerika, Spoon River Poetry Review, and others. With over 30 years of experience teaching literature and creative writing, Luisa also leads workshops at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk (and serves on the Muse Board). She is a Louis I. Jaffe Professor and University Professor of English and Creative Writing— teaching in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015. For over nine years to date, she has been writing (at least) a poem a day. www.luisaigloria.com


Ameya King is a Virginia-based Kuchipudi dancer and dance educator who has been practicing this vibrant dance form since 2000, under the tutelage of Smt. Sarada Jammi, Smt. N. N. V. Satyabhanu, and Sri Hari Rama Murthy. She embarked on the journey pursuing arts after a pivotal conversation with Francis Tanglao-Aguas as a junior at William & Mary and a year as his teaching assistant. She recently earned her Masters in Kuchipudi dance at the University of SiliconAndhra, researching the relationship between emotion and rhythm in this vibrant form. As a first-generation Indian-American raising a black son, she relies on the arts to build him a kinder world.


Jamar Jones is an award winning actor, teaching artist, and museum theater practitioner based in Richmond, Virginia. A William and Mary graduate, he has appeared in numerous regional productions including Fences (Virginia Repertory Theatre); Passing Strange (Firehouse Theatre); An Octoroon (Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award, Best Actor), Topdog/Underdog (TheatreLab); and Red Velvet (RTCC Nomination, Best Actor) (Quill Theatre). Jamar collaborates with museums and historic sites throughout Virginia and Washington, DC, including the International Spy Museum, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Mount Vernon, and Colonial Williamsburg to bring stories of enslaved and free black people of the past to life. 



Professor of English Emerita, Jacquelyn Y. McLendon taught full-time for 21 years at William & Mary, and continued for several years to teach part-time for William & Mary’s in-class semester and online summer course programs. She was also Administrative Coordinator of William & Mary’s 50-year anniversary of the first African American students in residence. Dr. McLendon has published and edited several books, as well as numerous articles, in the field of African American Literature. Her most recent book Building on the Legacy: African Americans at William & Mary, An Illustrated History of 50 Years and Beyond was published by Donning Publishers in 2019.


B.J. Minor’s ( class of 2013) acting career began at William and Mary under the training, direction and mentorship of Artisia Green, Elizabeth Wiley, Tamara Johnson, and Francis Tanglao Aguas. While at W&M, B.J. starred in three main stage productions: “Ruined” and “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” which were directed by Artisia, and “Sitayana” which was directed by Francis. Since graduating, B.J. has transitioned to on-screen acting. B.J. played the role of Blow Pop in Master P’s “I Got The Hookup 2” which was theatrically released worldwide and is currently available to stream through various mediums. B.J. currently has a recurring role in Urban Flix T.V.’s “Casting The Net”where he plays Gabby, a fashionable and sassy casting assistant, working opposite of acting titans like Ella Joyce of “Set It Off” fame and Willard E. Pugh who was Harpo in “The Color Purple.” You can also watch B.J. as Ben in Amazon Prime’s “Acrylic,” a feature length comedy about dueling nail salons. Another fun credit on B.J.’s resume is young Black Panther in Disney’s and Marvel’s “Marvel: Dimension of Heroes.” B.J. would like to thank everyone who has ever poured love and knowledge into his craft; it really takes a village.


Matt Nguyen-Ngo is a punk and metal musician based around Washington D.C. He writes anti racist and anticapitalist music under the name "YELXPERIL" (pronounced "yellow peril") and also plays drums in several punk and metal bands. As a part of his studies in William & Mary's APIA Studies program, Matt recorded a multi-genre EP synthesizing APIA history and activism.


Hermine Pinson has published three poetry collections and two CD’s, one in special collaboration with Pulitzer-prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. She has performed her poetry in the United States, Europe, and Africa. Pinson’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. She  is the Margaret Hamilton Professor of English & Africana Studies at William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA.


Branden S. Polk is the CEO and Founder of Arrowhead Advising, LLC. As an innovator, social reformer, public speaker, writer, counselor, and creative artist, Branden has dedicated his life to advocacy for the most vulnerable, the developing of transformational leaders, and to changing the way society addresses today's most sensitive topics such as race, sexuality, criminal justice, education, faith, and more.Branden received his undergraduate degree in Theater from the College of William & Mary and is also a graduate of George Mason University where he received his master’s degree in Social Work.


Christopher Michael Richardson is an actor and teaching artist in the Washington D.C. area. He has appeared in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) at The John F. Kennedy Center TYA; Matilda at Olney Theatre Center; You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown at Imagination Stage (Helen Hayes Award, TYA Production); and The Wiz at Ford’s Theatre (Helen Hayes Nomination, Supporting Actor). He holds a BA in English and Theatre from The College of William & Mary.


Harris Simon, jazz pianist, hails from New York City. He has performed with many well-known jazz musicians and vocalists including Sonny Fortune, Clifford Jordan, Michael Brecker, Sal Nistico, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Claudio Roditi, George Duvivier, Red Mitchell, Earl Coleman, Jay Clayton, Roseanna Vitro, Sheila Jordan and Stephanie Nakasian. He has played at jazz festivals in New York, Montreal, Montreux, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Tokyo, Helsinki and Stockholm among others. Mr. Simon has recorded four albums as a leader. In 1983, Mr. Simon won First Prize at the Kalisz International Jazz Piano Competition in Poland. In 2013, he performed at Carnegie Recital Hall in a program sponsored by the Muscarelle Museum. In 2017, Mr. Simon was a guest artist with the Blue House Jazz Orchestra at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, Sweden. Mr. Simon joined the faculty of William and Mary in 1994. He enjoys teaching and takes great pleasure in coaching the W&M Jazz Combo. The Combo performed for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Williamsburg in 2007.  Mr. Simon is a member of Phi Mu Alpha. Locally, Mr. Simon has performed with the Williamsburg Symphonia and has been a regular at An Occasion for the Arts and the Winter Blues Jazz Fest.


Isaiah Matthew Wooden, PhD is a director-dramaturg and assistant professor of Theater Arts at Brandeis University. He has published widely on contemporary African American art and drama—from the plays of Lydia Diamond, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Robert O’Hara to the performance work of Derrick Adams, Jefferson Pinder, and Adrian Piper.


Sumié Yotsukura is an actress, singer, and dancer originally from Olney, MD. She first performed with Aguas Arts Ink in Rolling the R’s as a member of the Chorus. She currently attends the College of William & Mary, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Theatre, serves on the executive boards of two theatre student organizations, and has starred in several productions, including Ordinary Days: A Podcast (Claire), Sense & Sensibility (Marianne), A Chorus Line (Diana), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy), and The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet). Credits elsewhere include Sweet Charity (Nickie), West Side Story (Consuela), The Music Man (Marian), and And Then There Were None (Vera).


Christopher Page-Sanders, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, received his formal dance training from the Center Of Creative Arts (COCA) and in the Conservatory of Music and Dance from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. He currently serves as the co-artistic director of the Nu-World Contemporary Dance Theater with his husband, Bashir Page-Sanders. For the past seven years he danced as a member of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. He has also danced with  Wylliams-Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Kansas City Friends Of Alvin Ailey, The Slaughter Project Dance Ensemble, the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater Company to name a few. He has served as resident choreographer for the Center of Creative Arts Summer Musicals since its inception but has also served as choreographer to the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance- teaching and choreographing at such dance and theater schools as COCA, Best Talent Center, Metro Theater Company, Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, Crossroads High School. He has choreographed and has been commissioned to create work for CPRD Cleo2, COCAdance, Davis Contemporary Dance Company, The Slaughter Project, The Madison-Cannon Project- his choreography has been presented on a national level twice at the International Association of Blacks In Dance Conference. In 2013, he was recognized and given the Leni Wylliams Award for choreography and innovation from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. To his ancestors On their shoulders I dance! Peace and Blessings; Love, Light and Art! 

@2020 by Aguas Institute, LLC d.b.a. Aguas Arts Ink.