Central College and Pella Public Library welcome the award-winning author and performer Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey for a performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, Cox-Snow Auditorium, on the Central campus. The public is invited to An Evening with Caleb Rainey: The Heart of a Negro Artist. His appearance Feb. 28 will showcase a performance followed by an onstage interview by “Dr. Bob” Robert Leonard, KNIA/KRLS reporter.
Rainey is a performance poet who tackles everything from race relations in America to love and heartbreak. His debut book “Look, Black Boy” was awarded first prize in the North Street Book Prize, and his second book “Heart Notes” was published in 2019. In 2020, 2021 and 2022 he was named Best Poet/Spoken Word Performer in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. He is the winner of several slams across the United States, a 2019 finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global Poetry Slam – Iowa City and was featured on Button Poetry and Write About Now.
When he is not writing and performing, he is actively curating a community of spoken word poets in Iowa City through his creation of a high school program, IC Speaks, and producing local events like the Mic Check Poetry Festival.
Funding to bring Rainey to campus is provided by the Central College Leadership Through Equity Fund, created to support diversity, equity and inclusion on Central’s campus, and the social aspect for on-campus experiences and what it means to be a minority or first-generation student at Central.
This performance with Rainey is a culmination of Central’s activities during Black History Month programming. Other activities include:
- Completion of the 21-Day WELL Challenge, with student and employee participation during January, with a challenge celebration on Thursday, Feb. 2.
- Cultural Cuisine student dinner, Saturday, Feb. 4, will feature unique cultural dishes with discussion facilitated by Paulina Mena, faculty fellow for diversity and inclusion and associate professor of biology, and the Alliance of Underrepresented People.
- Civil Rights Coffee Cups featuring rights heroes, facts and inspirational quotes on each cup of beverage in the Global Café at Geisler Library the week of Feb. 6.
- Movie night with students watching “Wakanda Forever” on Friday, Feb. 10. A discussion with Óscar Reynaga, Class Dean for the Class of 2023 and senior lecturer of Spanish, will follow.
- Service-learning project, with student and employee participation, will make tie blankets on Feb. 14 and 16.
- The BIPOC+ Coalition – students from Central, Drake University, Grand View University, Simpson College and William Penn University – will gather Sunday, Feb. 19, for conversation and ice-skating.
- Civil Rights Transit display, Feb. 20-24, inside the Maytag Student Center will feature stories of eight significant past and present figures in the civil rights movement.
- Black History Month display in Geisler Library all month highlighting black authors and literature.
- Black History Month video shorts created by the Central Student-Athlete Advisory Council will be shared on social media throughout the month.