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Heritage Day

Date: September 29
Time: 10:00am
Location: Marion Square
Admission: Free

Head to Marion Square for a full day of activities celebrating African-American and Caribbean culture and heritage in the Lowcountry. Community cultural ambassadors will be on hand with information and programs. Performances during Heritage Day will feature the Royal Baptist Praise and Worship Choir at 10:30am, Youth on View Praise Dancers and will close with The Zandrina Dunning Experience featuring Black Noyze, Black Diamond, and Jeremy Nava starting at 1:00pm.

Activities for children, poetry readings, youth performances, and workshops are all on offer alongside a health fair with free screening and information at what promises to be a delightful day at the park.

Opening Day Street Parade

Date:Thursday, September 27
Time: 6:00pm
Admission: Free

Join youth ensembles, community groups, and entertainers to welcome in another MOJA Festival season. Come and see the joyful celebration that features energetic performances, colorful costumes, and the exciting sounds of marching bands! The parade begins at Marion Square and heads down King Street, turning onto Market Street, and ending at the US Custom House at East Bay and Market Streets.

Reggae Block Dance

Date: Friday, September 28
Time: 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Venue: Brittlebank Park
Address: corner of Fishburne and Lockwood
Admission: FREE

Join us for one of MOJAs favorite traditions and dance the night away with your friends and neighbors.  Featuring the Dubplates with special guest Future Fambo and other local performing artists, this is always an energetic and beautiful night on the Ashley River.  Bring your folding chairs and blankets to set up a picnic or enjoy fare from a variety of ethnic and international food vendors. Coolers are not permitted.

African Dance Master Class with Fanta Touray

Date: Saturday, September 29
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Address: North Charleston
Admission: $10 at the door, or call 843-577-4080 to reserve your spot

The Charleston Alliance of African Dance and Drum will host a class featuring Fanta Touray of Stone Mountain, GA, Director of The Rakaba Ballet who will be teaching movement and drumming from Guinea, all levels welcome; dancers and drummers alike.

For more information, call 843-557-4080

KJ Kearney presents Red Rice Day Panel discussions

Date: Saturday, September 29
Time: 1:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Reserved Seats are now SOLD OUT. Standing Room will be available based on capacity at the door,

If you would like to stay up to date on the event click here.

Red Rice Day at MOJA is the inaugural celebration of the most cherished dish in of all Gullah Geechee culture. During this event panelists will discuss modern issues relating to Gullah Geechee culture as well as the connection between West Africa and the Gullah Geechee Cooridor. Attendees will get to sample some of the best red rice in the city made lovingly by Chef Charlotte Jenkins, author of the “Gullah Cuisine: By Land and by Sea”.

Panel One: Modern Issues of Gullah Geechee Culture
Dr. Jessica R. Berry, Assistant PRofessor of Speech Pathology & Audiology at South Carolina State University
Sunn m’Cheaux, Gullah language professor at Harvard
Heather Hodges, Executive Director of Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission
Adrian Smalls-Owens, Youth Director of the Snowden Community Civic Association

Panel Two: Describing Gullah Geechee Culinary Culture
Chef Charlotte Jenkins, Gullah Culinary expert and cookbook author
Chef Brian Washington, Restaurateur and Private Chef
Chef Christopher Hyatt, Executive Chef at Republic Garden

NOTE: Complimentary red rice while supplies last and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. No exceptions. Photographs and/or video will may taken at RED RICE DAY. By entering and attending RED RICE DAY, you acknowledge and agree that your likeness may be included in photos and videos of the event and used by Charleston Sticks Together, the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and/or the MOJA in connection with communications about this event.

Gospel Concert: The Gospel Sounds of Millennials

Date: Sunday, September 30
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Trinity United Methodist Church
Address: 273 Meeting Street
Admission: $11
Coordinator: Reverend Randolph Miller
Buy Tickets Here

This is an opportunity to hear Gospel Music at its best from 3 gospel greats who perform locally, nationally and internationally. The genre of the music will be represented from “Down Home to Contemporary” featuring “Mike Brown and Focus, Mario Desaussure along with Brandon Robinson and NGOP.  You don’t want to miss this uplifting event of the MOJA Arts Festival.

This year features three great talents:

A native of Charleston, SC, Elder Mario Desaussure is the eldest son born to the late Bruce “Sandy” Desaussure and the late Annette Moore Desaussure. He is an anointed psalmist who began singing at the tender age of 3, in the Alpha Omega Reformed House of God Church, under the leadership of his great-grandfather, the late Bishop Aaron H. Moore, Sr. He is a 1998 graduate of R. B. Stall High School and attended Benedict College for three years, but returned home to care for his mother and father until their passing. He is planning to return to college and further his education majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Business Administration.

Mario is currently a member of Christian Praise And Worship Center under the leadership of Pastor Lonnie Ruth Palmer. He also serves as the Director of Music at First Baptist Church of James Island under the leadership of Reverend Charlie L. Murray, Jr. He has sung with various groups and national recording artists throughout the lowcountry and also the United States, such as Mike Brown and F.O.C.U.S., The Anointed Voices of Praise of Huger, SC, Trinity Inspirational Choir, Pastor Sam Dennis, New Generation of Praise, Vashawn Mitchell, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Ricky Dillard, just to name a few.  Mario has also received various awards and recognition for his gift that God has given to him. But most of all, he is a child of the Most high God. He takes no credit for anything but gives God all praise, glory and honor for everything he has allowed to happen throughout his life. He is a firm believer that God will make ways out of no way and will open doors that man thought should be closed. His motto is, “if I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.”

Brandon Robinson & N.G.O.P. (New Generation of Praise) is a young group with some old flavor but also shares a new twist on quartet music. The group has been singing together for 7 years starting together as community choir which later formed into a quartet. Ministry is top priority for this group. The quartet of young singers don’t mind having church all over the world; “We don’t mind sharing what the lord has giving us to bless his people and we are grateful that the lord trusted us with these gifts he’s given to us.”

In August of 1997, God gave the vision of F.O.C.U.S. (Followers of Christ Upholding Standards) to Wayne Ravenell.  Wayne then organized a group of the city’s best, vibrant, gifted, and anointed young adults.

The group was comprised of approximately 20 members- a collective group from different ministries of various denominations. Early performances earned an over-whelming positive response from their community. As a result, God gave them favor with pastors and leaders in their city, which allowed them to open for every major recording artist that came through their city. Some of these artist include: God’s Property, Trinitee 5:7, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Karen Clark-Sheard, Byron Cage, Natalie Wilson, New Direction, Alvin Slaughter, Overseer Hezekiah Walker, Sha’ Simpson, Tye Tribbett & G.A. and also blessed to tour with Anthony Hamilton on his 2006 tour.

In March of 2005, F.O.C.U.S. recorded their first live project, “The Heart of a Worshiper”.

This group of vivacious, colorful and unique Levitical priests intends to reconcile souls to God through a radical and innovative praise and worship experience, while yet being examples of holiness and righteousness as followers of Christ upholding standards.


Date: Tuesday, October 2
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Circular Congregational Church
Address: 150 Meeting Street
Admission: Free

Join OneBeat for a one-time performance created in response to the environmental works of contemporary composer John Luther Adams. In the past, artists and musicians have depicted the natural world as ethereal and majestic while at times overwhelming and threatening.  To illustrate the sublime was to evoke feelings of awe and human insignificance.  Now, in an age of rapid technological and digital evolution, humanity itself has become a powerful and sometimes overwhelming geophysical force. In this age, is it still possible to discover unexpected beauty—and, if so, will we be forced to reimagine the sublime’s most spectacular form?  In response to these questions, OneBeat artists will enliven The Circular Congregational Church, a space that continues to be a significant site for human connection and communion, leading the audience in an intimate and shared sonic experience. Event is free and open to the public.

Rhythm Drone

OneBeat in association with The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art presents Rhythm Drone

Date: October 3
Time: 1:00pm
Venue: Stern Student Center Garden
Address: 71 George Street

Rhythm Drone is a collaborative public performance that invites audiences to join OneBeat’s global musicians and students from the Palmetto Scholars Academy, in a unique musical meditation. Participants are invited to join our artists as we each maintain a rhythmic pattern over an extended period of time, until each performer can transcend their individualist self awareness. The performer instead focuses on their interaction with other players, acting as a living metaphor for social responsibility. As time passes the performer witnesses how their relationship to the individual and the whole, the conscious and the unconscious, evolves. This event is free and participatory – open to any and all who are interested in an exploration of sound, language and communication.

West Ashley Farmers Market Celebrates MOJA

Date: Wednesday, October 3
Time: 3:00-7:00pm
Venue: Ackerman Park, 55 Sycamore Avenue

The West Ashley Farmers Market hosts an energetic afternoon of family-friendly MOJA programming and activities. This animated market features fresh goods from local farmers, growers and food concessionaires alongside live performances that celebrate African-American and Caribbean culture.

Swahili Workshop

Date: Wednesday, October 3
Time: 3:30pm
Venue: West Ashley Public Library
Address: 45 Windermere Blvd
Admission: Free

The workshop is designed for children and adults to feel comfortable while:

- Learning why Swahili is so important to the Low Country.
- Discovering Swahili words they use daily while speaking English.
- Speaking to each other in Swahili.
- Creating art for Swahili phrases.

Swahili is presented as writers of Swahili grammar present it-one of the twelve great languages of the world.


Date: Wednesday, October 3
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: Redux Contemporary Art Center
Address: 1056 King Street
Admission: Free

A neighborhood is a living organism: it breathes, struggles, and changes with the generations, and in an increasingly global world, the value of the neighborhood becomes ever more important, albeit more threatened. This October, a group of musicians from around the globe visits one Charleston, SC neighborhood to learn about its history, its struggles, and celebrations, and to collaborate with residents to create original art.  An ensemble of global musicians from OneBeat will perform original musical works inspired by stories from residents and Tiny Businesses engaged in the conNECKtedTOO project of North Central Charleston neighborhood, in partnership with Charleston Rhizome Collective. A celebration of a neighborhood and its history, the evening will begin with a series of pop-up performances in local storefronts, culminating with a performance at Redux Contemporary Art Center at 7 pm.

This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

4th Graders Readout

Date: Friday, October 5
Venue: Participating CCSD Schools

A MOJA Tradition, this outreach program invites 4th grade students from pre-selected Charleston County Schools to participate in a special in-school reading program in which students receive a free copy of the featured book.  This year’s selection is “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison.

Friends of MOJA Exclusive

Date: Friday, October 5
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: The Schoolhouse
Address: 720 Magnolia Road
Admission: Friends of MOJA Exclusive, if your membership isn’t up to date please renew today, or if you would like to become a friend of MOJA click here.
Please Call (843)724-7305 to RSVP

Join us and the Friends of MOJA for an intimate evening of entertainment with Da’rrell Ravenell and the Peace of Mind Band.

Community Tribute Luncheon

Date: Saturday, October 6
Time: 11:30am-1:30pm
Venue: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Address: 3550 Ashley River Road, West Ashley
Please Call: (843)724-7305 for information on attending

The MOJA Arts Festival is pleased to bestow awards on outstanding community leaders in recognition of their contributions to the region at this annual outdoor luncheon.

The 2018 MOJA Arts Festival Planning and Community Tribute Luncheon Committees salute this year’s leaders:

2018 Community Tribute Luncheon Honorees:
Ms. Joy Vandervort-Cobb, Artist
W.M. Smith-McNeal Funeral Home, Business
Mr. Nathaniel Jackson, Civic & Community Service
Ms. Saundra Williams Purvis, Contribution to MOJA
Mrs. Michele English-Watson, Education
Mr. Steve Bedard, Government
Kenosha Gleaton, MD, Medicine
Ms. Camile Bibb, Outstanding College Student
Miss Hallie Grant, Outstanding High School Student
Mr. John Christopher Wright, Outstanding High School Student
Ms. Ruth Jordan, Politics-Local
The Honorable Marvin R. Pendarvis, Politics-State
Reverend Dr. Kylon Middleton, Religion
Ms. Wendrah McCoy, Rising Star
Gamma XI Omega Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sororities

Charleston Boxing Club and Annual MOJA Cup

Date: Saturday, October 6
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: Arthur Christopher Community Center
Address: 265 Fishburne Street
Admission: At the door; $15 Adults, $5 Students under 18, Free for children under 8
Coordinators: Al “Hollywood” Meggett and Osei Terry Chandler

A MOJA tradition, the Charleston Boxing Club Annual MOJA Cup highlights some of the region’s top all-star amateur boxers battling it out in their respective weight divisions. Participants weigh in between 2pm and 4pm. Tickets for the event are only available at the door. Bouts begin at 7pm.

Gullah/Geechee Gala at Gullah Roots

Date: October 7
Time: 3:00-7:00pm
Venue: Gullah Roots
Address: 4391 Dorchester Road, North Charleston
Admission: Free

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, Gullah Geechee Angel Network and All Mobile ProductionsTM(AMPTM) will host an afternoon of authentic Gullah/Geechee cultural expression at “Gullah Roots” in North Charleston. Queen Quet, Cheiftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation will host the affair and present on the living traditions of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Attendees are asked to dress to impress in their Gullah/Geechee gear and African attire for the “Gullah/Geechee Gala.”

Cum fa jayn we and bring de famlee. Admission is free.

Email or call (843)276-8703 for more information. Make sure you do not miss the closing part of the MOJA Celebration in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

MOJA Finale

Date: October 7
Time: 6:00pm until 11:00pm
Venue: Hampton Park
Address: 30 Mary Murray Boulevard
Sponsored by: Meeting Street Schools
Admission: FREE

Close out the Festival in style! Everyone in your family will enjoy this spirited celebration of all that the MOJA Festival has to offer.  From fascinating craft vendors and fantastic food choices to an evening of live music, featuring Hot Buttered Soul playing the best of classic soul and R&B, this party is sure to entertain.

Juried Art Exhibition Juror’s Talk

Date: Sunday, October 7
Time: 2:00pm
Location: Dock Street Theatre Drawing Room
Admission: FREE

Join Exhibition Juror Victoria Smalls as she discusses the works she chose for this year’s MOJA Festival Juried Art Exhibition.

Victoria Smalls serves as Program Manager for the International African American Museum.  Smalls joins the International African American Museum after five years of service with the Penn Center National Land District as Director of History, Art and Culture, Director of Development and Public Relations from 2012 through 2017.

For more information about the works in the Juried Art Exhibition, click here.