MOJA Arts Festival Juried Art Exhibition

On View: September 28-October 8; Tuesday through Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 5pm

Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

This annual juried art exhibition features work from artists living in the Southeast in a range of styles and media. In it, viewers will find artworks in photography, painting, drawing, graphic arts, fiber arts, sculpture, ceramics, basketry, and more.
This year’s juror is Orisanmi Kehinde Odesanya, whose work has been exhibited at the City Gallery as part of the 2016 exhibition Sixteen Crowns: Manifestations of Ase. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Orisanmi Kehinde Odesanya is an artist, storyteller, and author. With a background in costuming and academic studies in African Art and religious art forms, she has developed an art practice that includes writing and following the rich cultural tradition of the African Masquerade through doll making and metaphysical interpretation. Her published works include Kwanzaa: A Learning Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Children.

Sixteen Crowns: Manifestations of Ase

Visual Arts- Libation

On View: September 28-October 29; Tuesday through Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 5pm

Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

In the tradition of the Ancestors of Black people in America and abroad, the giving of libation has been a practice which is deeply rooted in black culture. It’s not just the action of pouring out a drink for those who are no longer on earth with us, but much more than that: it’s the recollection, remembrance, and celebration of the life and lifetimes of those who have passed on to other side as an Ancestor.

This exhibition consists of mixed media works, a short film installation, as well as a wall-to-floor installation. The artists offer healing to the community on a local and state-wide level, as they examine a lack of acknowledgement for the diverse experiences through many people’s lives in the black community. Artists include Roni Nicole Henderson (film, photography); Dogon Krigga (graphic design); and 2017 MOJA poster artist, Cedric Umoja (multi-media, muralist).

Cedric Umoja, Visual Artist

Visual Arts- Dance of the Ancestors: Egungun Masquerade

On View: September 28-October 29; Tuesday through Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 5pm

Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

City of Charleston, the masquerade has arrived! The Masquerade is an integral part of culture and tradition, often taking part of yearly festivals, weddings, birth of children, funeral rites, and family observances: uniting the ancestral presence with the living, connecting the past to the present while moving forward to the future. Dance of the Ancestors: Egungun Masquerade focuses primarily on the Yoruba tradition of masquerade, the many styles reflecting the diversity and creativity of the culture through the artistic eye of Orisanmi Kehinde Odesanya, who started creating these ancestral vessels in 2015 to educate the general public about the masking traditions throughout the continent. Prominently featured is the creation of a full size Gelede Mask costume and photo documentary of the mask in process. This exhibition features various styles of Masquerades from West Africa, primarily based upon Yoruba culture, as represented through small sculpture and a full sized creation of a mask, Ere: Spirit in Cloth. Dance of the Ancestors will have a performance function to dance the mask bringing its energy to life and bless all those who witness its “magic.” Artist: Orisanmi Kehinde Odesanya, Cleveland, OH; Curator: Dr. Ade Ofunniyin, Adjunct Professor, College of Charleston, Executive Director of the Gullah Society, and Project Director of the Gullah Society Sacred Burial Ground Projects; Curatorial support: Jody Berman, PhD Candidate and Robin Poynor, PhD.

Heritage and Community- Professor Jazz

Tuesday, October 3 at 9:30am
Venue: Charleston County Public Library
Address: 68 Calhoun Street
Admission: Free
Produced by: Charleston County Public Library

Ken Foberg and his jazz quartet will entertain the crowd by playing different styles of jazz through the ages, and explaining the role of each instrument. Ken Foberg is a concert and jazz band clinician based in North Charleston, South Carolina. He has over 30 years’ experience conducting successful music clinics, band camps, and sight-reading clinics nation-wide for elementary through university level bands. Ken has had the privilege to teach and bring the love of music to thousands of people all over the world.

Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company Charleston Residency

Tuesday, October 3 at 5:00pm
Venue: Gadsden Wharf, future site of International African American Museum
Address: 10 Wharfside Street
Admission: Free

Founded by Ronald K. Brown in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, New York,Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. Through work, Evidence provides a unique view of human struggles, tragedies, and triumphs. Brown uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms. He is an advocate for the growth of the African American dance community and is instrumental in encouraging young dancers to choreograph and to develop careers in dance.

5:00 PM: Free, participatory movement workshop with EVIDENCE
6:00 PM: Free, public performance of excerpts from EVIDENCE repertory

The group will be in Charleston for a three day residency during the MOJA Arts Festival working with local schools and the College of Charleston Theatre and Dance program. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in the residency at this free event on Tuesday, October 3.

Brown founded Evidence, A Dance Company in1985.  He has worked with Mary Anthony Dance Theater, Jennifer Muller/The Works and other choreographers and artists.  Brown has set works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Jeune Ballet d’Afrique Noire, Ko-Thi Dance Company,  Philadanco, Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago and Ballet Hispanico. He has collaborated with such artists as composer/designer Omotayo Wunmi Olaiya, the late writer Craig G. Harris, director Ernie McClintock’s Jazz Actors Theater, choreographers Patricia Hoffbauer and Rokiya Kone, and composers Robert Een, Oliver Lake, Bernadette Speech, David Simons, and Don Meissner

He choreographed Regina Taylor’s award-winning play, Crowns and won an AUDELCO Award for his work on that production.  Brown has won a Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreography in the Tony winning  The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, adapted by Suzan Lori Parks, arrangement by Diedre Murray & directed by Diane Paulus. In addition Brown was named Def Dance Jam Workshop Mentor of the Year in 2000 and has received; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, and The Ailey Apex Award for teaching.   Brown is a member of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.

This presentation of EVIDENCE, A Dance Company 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.

MOJA & Free Verse Poetry Reading – Horace Mungin and Carlos Johnson and the Speak Freely Foundation

Tuesday, October 3 at 6:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

Horace Mungin was born in Hollywood, South Carolina in 1941 and his family moved to New York City in 1946. In 1989 Mungin moved to Ridgeville, SC. Mungin started writing poetry in the mid-sixties during the genesis of the Black Arts Movement. Duringthis period, he published two anti-drug volumes of poetry, “Dope Hustler’s Jazz, 1968” and “Now See Here, Homes, 1969.” Some of his early writings appeared in The New York Times, literary magazines, and poetry anthologies. In the early seventies, Mungin helped found Black Forum Magazine, a widely acclaimed national publication for writers and was its first editor. In the late seventies, Mungin wrote a column for a Charleston, SC weekly newspaper that employed satire to explore a variety of political and social issues. The column was later syndicated to ten other weekly newspapers and had a six year run (’78 – ‘84). In 1991 a collection of those columns was published under the title Sleepy Willie Talks about Life. Recent published books include A Different Point of View, 2013, Truth & and Absurdities, 2014, and …Or Does It Explode, 2016.

Carlos Johnson, a native of Summerville, South Carolina, currently resides in Goose Creek, South Carolina.  Johnson has founded organizations such as The Poetry Show and the Speak Freely Foundation (SFF).   SFF, a non-profit organization, supports local youth in the arts.  Its mission is to support, educate, and enlighten youth through the arts to better their lives as well as society. The SFF, in collaboration with the City of North Charleston, offers The S.L.@.M. (Speaking Life @mong Many) Poetry Program and the North Charleston Boxing Club at the Armory Park Center. Youth from the Speak Freely Foundation program will present with Johnson.

Literary Corner with Kwame Alexander

Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

The literary corner event is an annual tradition that gives the audience unique insight into the creative process through intimate discussions with celebrated authors. Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 24 books, including Solo and The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His latest collaboration is Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets with Marjory Wentworth and Chris Colderly.  This reading 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.