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‘HOOPS’ stage play explores how hoop earrings embody personal culture, pride

todayMarch 7, 2023 1

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Nicole Acosta, HOOPS creator

The origins of hoop earrings date back thousands of years. They’ve been tied to the Nubia civilization in Africa and the Sumerian women in the historic region of Mesopotamia. In current times, these earrings have continued to be tenets of culture for Black, Brown and Indigenous individuals – proud of their heritage and unafraid to take up space.

The question “What do hoop earrings mean to you?” was one of inspiration to Milwaukee artist Nicole Acosta. She created The HOOPS Project – which examines the intersections of culture, fashion, history, relationship and liberation. It started as a portrait campaign that evolved into a play of storytelling and personal anecdotes.

Acosta hosted photoshoots in cities as Milwaukee, Chicago and New York finding more than 60 people with deep connections to their hoop earrings. Her exhibit is currently on display at MARN Art & Culture Hub through April 3.

This weekend, ‘HOOPS’, the stage play will debut at the Milwaukee Chamber Theater. It’s adapted by playwright Eliana Pipes, directed by Maria Patrice Amon and features original music by Britney “B~Free” Freeman-Farr.

‘HOOPS’ runs March 11-Apr. 2.


Written by: Kim Shine

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