Events at ASU's West campus celebrate Black History Month

Rip Woods painting

A screening of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” performances of the play “The Submission” and an exhibit showcasing a prominent African American visual artist are on the schedule as Arizona State University’s West campus commemorates Black History Month during February. This year’s celebration features the theme of Honoring Our Heroes.

Unless otherwise noted, events are free of charge. (Visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour.) The West campus is at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

The schedule is:

Opening Celebration & Art Gallery opening

Black History Month kicks off with an opening reception for The “Rip” Woods Studio Project. The reception is set for 6 p.m., Feb. 3, in Artspace West, room 228 of the University Center Building.

This installation is dedicated to preserving the work of this brilliant African American artist, in a manner that is accessible to everyone, beyond the rarified air of arts journals, private collections and museums. Roosevelt “Rip” Woods, who spent the majority of his professional career teaching at ASU by day and creating in his Phoenix studio at night, left a legacy of inspiring art.

The “Rip” Woods Studio Project will be available for viewing through Feb. 27, from noon to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.

Film Screening: “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

This acclaimed 2013 film starring Forrest Whitaker tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The screening starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, on the second floor of Café West in the University Center Building. Ice cream will be served.

Gumbo Challenge

Faculty, staff, students and friends are invited to an evening of gumbo, soul food, fun and celebration. Do you have a family gumbo recipe you want to enter into the challenge? Enter the contest, or just come to eat and enjoy. Starts at 6 p.m., Feb. 8. R.S.V.P. for details regarding this event’s off-campus location to LaKina Curry, (602) 543-5300.

Theatrical performance: “The Submission” by Jeff Talbott

7:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 21, 27, 28 and March 1; 3 p.m., Feb. 23 and March 2

Second Stage West, lower level of University Center Building.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $7 for seniors and $5 for students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available by visiting and searching “Arizona State University.”

A young white playwright writes a complex new drama about an African American family trying to get out of the projects, and it’s selected for the nation’s preeminent play festival. However, he submitted the work under a pen name in the hope of increasing its chances for production. So he hires Emilie, a black actress, to stand in for him as author, and then the real trouble begins! A co-production with iTheatre Collaborative, this is a fiercely funny and intelligent new comic drama about the words we use to describe each other, and the things we’ll do to get what we want. “The Submission” received the New York Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award and the 2011 Laurents/Hatcher Award for best new play. ASU’s Charles St. Clair directs this production.

13th Annual Pioneer Award Dinner

The 2014 honoree is former eduator Esther J. McElroy. Festivities include an awards ceremony, oral history, entertainment and dinner. African attire is suggested. The event is set for 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, in the La Sala Ballroom of the University Center Building. R.S.V.P.s are required for the dinner.

For information about Black History Month at ASU’s West campus, contact or (602) 543-5300.