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Friday August 12th

Breaking the fourth wall in Gerrard Hall

Django Haskins performs 'Painting the Town: A Rock n' Roll Life and the Souls of Four Great American Cities' January 20th and 21st at 8:00 p.m. in Gerrard Hall. Haskins writes, sings, and performs all his own songs based on his new book about the American cities he has toured as a musician.
Buy Photos Django Haskins performs 'Painting the Town: A Rock n' Roll Life and the Souls of Four Great American Cities' January 20th and 21st at 8:00 p.m. in Gerrard Hall. Haskins writes, sings, and performs all his own songs based on his new book about the American cities he has toured as a musician.

Audiences in Gerrard Hall this weekend aren’t expected to simply watch, applaud and leave.

Following Django Haskins’ performance piece “Painting the Town: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Life and the Souls of Four Great American Cities,” viewers can participate in a dialogue with the artist himself — and offer feedback on his work.

Process series:

Time: 8 p.m. today and Saturday
Location: Gerrard Hall
Info

The show is part of the Process Series, a project co-sponsored by the department of communication studies and Carolina Performing Arts.

“Painting the Town” is based on Haskins’ new book that highlights the urban history of four cities — Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City.

Haskins said he experienced these cities while touring the country with his band, The Old Ceremony.

Haskins will be reading excerpts from his book, “Painting the Town,” as well as playing music he wrote to accompany the text.

“Since Django is writing about how these cities feel and how they come to feel the way do, you can get a lot more done … with a guitar and a voice,” said Jedediah Purdy, a Duke University law professor and friend of Haskins.

“It’s going to make the ideas that he is presenting a lot more emotionally vivid.”

While touring with his band, every place he visited began to look and feel the same, Haskins said.

“That set me off on this kind of quest to try to pinpoint some very specific stories in history about where a place really gets a sense of itself,” he said.

The Process Series highlights the ways artistic ideas take form, said Joseph Megel, artistic director of the series.

He said the series has two goals.

“One, to give artists a space to work on new work,” he said.

“The other part of it is to make transparent that process of new work creation for the student body and community.”

Each performance in the Process Series features a different artist’s work in progress and is followed by an open dialogue with the audience.

The series aims to benefit both the audience and the performer, Megel said.

He also said that Haskins’ work is a great opportunity to show how the work of a rock musician and songwriter can translate to — and open up in — nonfiction writing.

Haskins said that being a part of the Process Series has already helped him focus his ideas for his book.

He said he plans to finish his book within the next year after his time at UNC.

“I am hoping by sharing some of these ideas that are in progress with the community that I can get some feedback that will help me further refine it,” he said.

Contact the Arts Editor

at arts@dailytarheel.com.

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