FORT LAUDERDALE — As part of their Earth Day Celebration on April, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society hosted Tribe Member Elgin Jumper for a literary reading and mixed media.
Although Jumper, who’s been part of the Seminole art scene for 14 years, helped create and headlined the event, he was joined by author and novelist Rosa Sophia and fellow members of the Colorful Warriors Theatre Ollie Wareham and Stephanie-Gabrielle Sneed.
Tara Chadwick, curator of exhibitions for the Fort Lauderdale History Society, credited Jumper for bringing ideas like this and contributing to the history society for years.
“Every time after a leap of faith, we end up with these really cool artistic experiences that weave together culture and history and future,” said Chadwick.
The evening started off with a reading from Sophia. Sophia, who’s worked with Jumper in the past shared the first chapter of a novel she’s been writing about the 1928 hurricane that killed thousands in Florida. After Sophia’s performance, Jumper took the stage.
He began with a reading from his latest literary endeavor – a novel about the Seminole art scene which he plans to finish this year. Although not completely based on truth, Jumper admitted that the novel is at some level semi-autobiographical. The book’s main character, Zachariah Sundance, wants to create an art revolution, something Jumper’s been trying to do through the mixed medium performances he does now with Colorful Warrior Theatre.
Jumper explained that he’s been working with Colorful Warriors Theatre to create performances that combine live drawing, music, and literature for about five years.
Jumper portrayed that type of mixed medium performance after his reading by creating a live-drawing to the sounds of Wareham on flute and Sneed on soundscape. He closed the event with a reading of one of his original poems.
“I’ve always wrote poetry and short stories,” he explained, touching a bit on incorporating so much of himself into his art. “When I’m telling my story, I’m also telling other people’s stories.”
The Colorful Warriors Theatre will be performing in Big Cypress for Art Day on June 16.
Until then, Jumper said they plan to have open rehearsals at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. Chadwick said that the rehearsals and any upcoming events will be listed on the society’s Facebook page or online.
To watch the live stream of the Earth Day Celebration, go to Fort Lauderdale Historical Society’s Facebook page.