Our Voices Will Be Heard

This grant supports the interdisciplinary public humanities project, "Our Voices Will Be Heard." This project immerses the audience in the world of the Women’s Suffrage, recreating the urgency of the cause and marches and bringing the experience to life through Virtual Reality. The project features an orchestral concert and related community engagement offerings built around the themes of gender equality, racial equality and social justice as fundamental human rights. The centerpiece of the concert is the World Premiere of the first-ever orchestral work incorporating Virtual Reality and a live symphony orchestra. In celebration of the Voting Rights Act, the orchestra will perform the American premiere of Florence Price’s newly discovered "Ethiopia’s Shadow in America." Ms. Price was the first African American composer ever to be performed by a major symphony. This work was discovered in a forgotten collection of papers in an attic in Chicago, and has only been performed once, by an orchestra in the United Kingdom.

Accompanying the concert is a series of community engagement events that further address the themes addressed in the musical program including: panels, Q&As, and an interactive, contextual display of voting rights movements, the culmination of a semester-long project by NC State Graphic Design students will complement the concert. The project is a collaboration with internationally-acclaimed composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, NC State Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Derek Ham, NC State College of Design graduate students and the community members and students of the orchestras.