Scott Woods on 'Holler,' his performance and its lessons

“Holler” is coming to an end, but its spirit doesn't need to, nor should it.

Scott Woods, with support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, booked at least a show a day throughout March, highlighting black artists through arts events and performances in spoken word, music, dance and visual arts. And on Thursday, March 30, the man himself is taking the stage.

“At first I wasn't going to [perform as part of ‘Holler'] because I really wanted to drive home the value of stewardship, both for the person doing the heavy lifting and the artists being lifted,” Woods said. “But a lot of people made it clear very early on that it would somehow be wrong to have that much time dedicated to Columbus black art and not have me on a stage at some point. So I conceded.”

Woods' performance will step beyond the traditional spoken-word night, in ways he didn't want to get into deeply lest he spoil the surprise.

“I want my set to be visually compelling as well as a good poem,” he said. “The [area in the Columbus Museum of Art] has a lot of space. I'm trying to fill it with poetry in a way that isn't just a guy reading in front of a room.

Woods is resolute that he will not make “Holler” a recurring thing. In addition to the time and energy commitment, Woods said that presenting black artists to Columbus audiences and venues in this way should make a reprise unnecessary.

“There won't be another ‘Holler,' so I hope that everyone who came into contact with it goes on to expand the culture we've unveiled into new spaces, new shows, new art and new opportunities. If I can put on 31 straight shows, there's no reason why an institution or artist or group can't put on one. I'm looking forward to seeing the shows and art they produce,” he said.

“The institutions and gatekeepers are learning things,” he continued. “The artists are learning they're not alone in a wilderness, even when they're often in situations that suggest otherwise.”

A veteran performer and organizer, Woods made it clear that just because there's no more ‘Holler,' it doesn't mean he's done.

“Organizing shows is a passion second only to my art. I've got a lot of support and knowledge now that I didn‘t have before, so I'm looking forward to the next idea that shakes me out of bed like ‘Holler' did,” he said.

In the meantime, you'll forgive Woods if he spends some time catching up on sleep in that aforementioned bed.