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Macy's honors artist's legacy during Black History Month

NEW YORK — Macy's announced that it is celebrating Black History Month this February by honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of artist Romare Bearden.

"Macy's is thrilled to partner with the Romare Bearden Foundation in celebration of the life and work of one of America's preeminent artists," said Dineen Garcia, Macy's VP diversity strategies. "Every year, as we honor the contributions of African-Americans with our Black History Month events, we hope to empower a new generation through a look back at some of our nation's most important leaders. Throughout his life, Romare Bearden brought his exceptional talents to a wide range of interests, cementing his unique place in history and blazing a trail for those who followed."

Romare Howard Bearden was a prolific artist whose work encompassed art, music, design, history and literature, Macy's noted in a press release. During his lifetime (1911-1988), Bearden experimented with many different mediums and artistic styles, but is best known for his richly textured collages. However his diverse interests included costume and set design for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Nanette Bearden's Contemporary Dance Theatre, music composition and literary work such as his famed children's book, "Li'l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story."

To celebrate the artist's centennial, Macy's will spotlight Bearden's work through special exhibitions featuring watercolors, prints, oil on paper and dramatic black and white photostats that date from 1964 to 1984, when Romare Bearden was at the peak of his artistic power. These satellite exhibits will showcase some rarely displayed works loaned by private collectors, in addition to works on loan from local galleries. Taking place at 11 Macy's locations nationwide including stores in New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Miami, the exhibits will be supplemented by works from artists influenced and inspired by Bearden. Opening receptions will further highlight Bearden's artistic endeavors including music, highlighted by performances from a new generation of jazz musicians playing his compositions, which have been previously recorded by masters including Branford Marsalis, Tito Puente and Billy Eckstine.

Additional in-store celebrations will include children's collage-making events, special readings of Bearden's children's book, "Li'l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story," as well as cooking demonstrations from local chefs featuring Bearden's favorite recipes and Caribbean dishes from the out-of-print cookbook, "Ma Chance's French Caribbean Creole Cooking," which he illustrated.

At the opening receptions, customers will have the opportunity to receive a 15%off community shopping pass, and a $10 Macy's gift card. Additionally, with a purchase of $50 or more, while supplies last, customers can receive a printed scarf featuring Romare Bearden's most revered work, "The Lamp." From Feb. 2 to 23, Macy's will also offer the opportunity to enter for the chance to win a trip for two to Paris, Romare Bearden's beloved city and the inspiration for his work on the project, "Paris Blues Revisited." Courtesy of American Airlines, the prize includes round-trip coach air travel, hotel and a $500 Macy's shopping spree.

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