Thursday pick: Benjamin Boone and Faylita Hicks team up for an evening of music and poetry in memory of Stonewall

Time is running out on your chance to see one of the most prestigious art exhibitions to ever grace the Fresno State campus: “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” which originated at the Brooklyn Museum in 2019 and is reprised at the Phebe Conley Art Gallery through Oct. 31. One of the most festive times to view the exhibition will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, when Fresno State music professor Benjamin Boone and his jazz quartet will team up with poet Faylita Hicks for an evening of original music.

Pictured above: Faylita Hicks joins Benjamin Boone at Fresno State. Photo:

I plan to be at the venue at 4:30 p.m. Thursday to offer a Facebook Live interview with Boone and Hicks, so “tune in” tomorrow at that time (on my Facebook Page) to follow along.

In the meantime, here’s a rundown on the concert (with help from Benjamin Kirk of the Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities):

The format: Boone has become quite deft (and nationally known) for his work in the jazz-poetry genre. Music and words get equal billing. His 2020 album “The Poets are Gathering” was the latest in a series of albums melding Boone’s jazz composition with poetry, including U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. His 2018 album “The Jazz of Poetry” featured U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine. It was ranked third “Best Album of 2018” in Downbeat Magazine’s annual readers’ poll.

The poet: Born in South Central California and raised in Central Texas, Hicks uses intersectional experiences to advocate for Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPOC) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, plus (LGBTQIA+) people. Hicks recently released a new album, “A New Name for My Love,” available on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

Also on the program: There will be various other performances and readings, including new works by poet and Fresno State alumnus Steven Sanchez and an original string quartet composition by Fresno State music student Allen Gallego.


The sponsor: The event and exhibition is brought to campus by the Center for Creativity and the Arts, with funding from The McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment of The James B. McClatchy Foundation.

The exhibition: Read my post about the show and watch my CMAC video:

Details: The outdoor concert and indoor art exhibit are free and open to the public. The exhibit and auxiliary events will follow campus COVID-19 protocols.


Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (3)

  • Very much looking forward to this collaborative concert! Thank you for your coverage here and on CMAC of this historic exhibit!

  • Jackie Ryle

    Thank you, Donald. This combination of the full range of arts in the context of human acceptance is so vital and your summary and interview are great foundation for understanding and appreciating the experience

  • Jackie Ryle

    So appreciate your reminders, Donald. I was able to attend this incredibly powerful and meaningful event. The visual art, music, written word, and spoken words were all so incredible. It was good to see you there. I am extremely grateful that I was able to be present and experience that amazing range and array of talent, both students and professional. Thank you again


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