Greene County News
DAYTON — Step back in time to the 1920s, when short haircuts, knee-length dresses, feathers and pearls were the trend while dancing to jazz music in a hidden speakeasy.
Wright State’s Collaborative Education, Leadership and Innovation in the Arts (CELIA) and the College of Liberal Arts will celebrate 100 years of baseball, jazz and short fiction with the Sultans of Swing Flapper Ball.
The ball takes place Saturday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Memorial Hall, 125 E. 1st St. Free parking will be available.
“One hundred years ago, fledgling Major League Baseball, the Negro Leagues, women’s baseball leagues, the Harlem Renaissance giants in literature and music, and the shiny new genre of sports writing experienced an important cultural nexus,” said Stephanie Dickey, senior lecturer of English language and literatures and the CELIA administrative coordinator. “These elements emerged together and intertwined as the vanguard of what have become iconic institutions of American culture today.”
During the early 20th century, many jazz club owners also owned baseball teams, and writing about baseball and jazz helped legitimize those activities and raise social issues of inequality and discrimination, said Dickey.
Flapper Ball guests can be swept off their feet by dance music performed by the local Classic Jazz Stompers, while also receiving Charleston and Lindy Swing dance lessons. Attendees can also compete in dance competitions. There will be readings of popular literature from the historical time period in addition to a Prohibition-era speakeasy with bathtub gin and a grand flapper buffet.
“Who doesn’t like a fun party?” said Dickey. “More importantly though, this party is especially significant in the opportunity it affords participants to actually experience the flapper culture. After the horrors of World War I and the advent of Prohibition, people — especially young people — were hungry to cut loose and feel carefree.”
The ball is the final event in “The Sultans of Swing: 100 Years of Baseball, Jazz and Short Fiction,” a CELIA series created by Sharon Lynnette Jones, professor of English language and literatures, and Scott Peterson, associate professor of communication.
Tickets are $75 for Wright State faculty and staff, $40 for Wright State students, $150 per couple and $80 per guest. Culture Works Passport holders will receive a $5 discount per ticket.
Story courtesy of Wright State University.