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Actor Danny Glover shares insight to Gloster community, youth

Actor Danny Glover, center, hugs Tammy Taylor, left and her son Jamaal Jackson, 12, while getting their picture taken during a fundraiser hosted to benefit The Gloster Project at The Cotton Gin Restaurant in Liberty Sunday. The Gloster Project is a free summer arts camp for kids hosted in Gloster each summer. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)
Actor Danny Glover, center, hugs Tammy Taylor, left and her son Jamaal Jackson, 12, while getting their picture taken during a fundraiser hosted to benefit The Gloster Project at The Cotton Gin Restaurant in Liberty Sunday. The Gloster Project is a free summer arts camp for kids hosted in Gloster each summer. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

LIBERTY Celebrated actor Danny Glover doesn’t want any southwest Mississippi child to think there’s no place for them to go and express their artistic creativity.

That’s why he traveled to Liberty Sunday evening to show and voice his support for The Gloster Project, a free summer arts camp that’s hosted and organized annually by professional artists from across the country.

Glover talks during the fundraiser Sunday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)
Glover talks during the fundraiser Sunday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

“We’re here to show young people who feel there’s no way out or no place for them to go that they matter,” Glover said. “It’s an important thing to hear, and art is always a component of that.”

Glover, who is known for his roles in films including the “Lethal Weapon” series and “The Color Purple,” spoke to a group of campers and others gathered for a fundraiser event to benefit The Gloster Project.

Glover was born and grew up in San Francisco, but said his mother was from a rural Georgia town that reminded him a lot of Gloster.

“Often what I try to do and love to do is v what I do, because I come from regular people,” Glover said. “I’ve been in small towns like this, and this is a part of who I am.”

Glover said he met Gloster native Margaret Porter Troupe, who founded the group that hosts the camp each year, while working in New York City and began learning more about The Gloster Project.

“Margaret has done cultural work all over the country, and she asked me if I would come down here and do this because she was bringing artists to where she was born and raised,” Glover said. “It’s important for the artists to engage the young people and the community.”

Troupe established The Gloster Project to provide arts education programs to youth in the Gloster community.

The program this summer was taught by five professional artists including composer, guitarist and musical theater director, Kelvyn Bell; performance artist and creative writer, Ebony Noelle Golden; actress and playwright, Nambi Kelley; poet, children’s book author and Miles Davis biographer, Quincy Troupe; and silkscreen printer and visual artist, Carlos Uribe.

Glover said bringing artists and creative people of different backgrounds together to share their talents with the youth in the community was a great thing.

“Arts and culture is the fabric that holds us together,” Glover said. “Art is always a way of translating your expressions, whether that’s through music, painting or something else.”

During Sunday’s presentation, Brooklyn poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths shared with the campers the importance of being creative.

“Early on, kids need to learn to think outside the box or else they get trapped in someone else’s story,” Griffiths said.

On Thursday, The Gloster Project campers will present an end-of-session performance to showcase their newly acquired talents at the Gloster Elementary School. The show is free and open to the public.