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- Columbia Marionette Theatre Presents The World of Anansi the Spider

Wednesday, October 4 at 9:30am
Venue: Charleston County Public Library
Address: 68 Calhoun Street
Admission: Free
Produced by: Charleston County Public Library

The Columbia Marionette Theatre presents The World of Anansi the Spider promises to entertain the youngest MOJA fans while educating them about world culture. The 30-minute show features marionettes, hand puppets, and rod puppets to tell several folk tales narrated by the storyteller, Anansi, a classic character featured in African tales which eventually descended to other cultures such as Jamaican and Gullah.

Historic Site Designation: Zion Olivet Church

Wednesday, October 4 at 10:00am
Venue: Zion Olivet Church
Address: 134 Cannon Street
Admission: Free
Coordinator: AnnaBell Seabrook

Zion Olivet Church will be formally designated as the 2017 MOJA Historic Site.

Historical information about previous designees can be found here.

West Ashley Farmers Market Celebrates MOJA

Wednesday, October 4, 3:00-7:00pm
Venue: Ackerman Park, 55 Sycamore Avenue
Admission: Free

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.

The Housing Authority Block Party with New Galaxy Band

Wednesday, October 4, 5:00-7:00pm
Venue: Charleston Housing Authority Courtyard
Address: 562-A Meeting Street
Admission: Free
Sponsored by: The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston

The Charleston Housing Authority hosts its annual MOJA Block Party gathering, and invites everyone to come out and celebrate with free food and lively music from Charleston favorite, New Galaxy Band.

MOJA & Free Verse Poetry Reading- Tammaka Staley

Wednesday, October 4, 6:00pm
Venue: City Gallery
Address: 34 Prioleau Street
Admission: Free

Tammaka Staley is a performance poet, activist, and teaching artist. A resident of Columbia, South Carolina, she has been writing and performing poetry for 10 years. Tammaka actively works in the community with poetry and youth organizations like OneWord Columbia, the University of South Carolina Upward Bound Program, and Girls Rock Columbia. She was also a sponsor for the SC Community Uplift Foundation Science Rocks benefit concert in 2015. She won the title “Queen of the South” at the 2015 Queen of the South Poetry Slam in April 2015. She has also performed as a featured artist at the Kennedy Center in the 2016 American College Dance Festival in Washington, DC. Tammaka strives to empower black communities and uses poetry as a tool to give people everywhere something to believe in.

Literary- Reading with Author Julius Hollis

Wednesday, October 4
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Buxton Books
Address: 2A Cumberland Street (Corner of Concord and Cumberland)
Admission: Free

Step into the warm and inviting atmosphere of Buxton Books for a reading from In the Arena author, Julius Hollis. Julius Hollis is the founder of The Alliance for Digital Equality and currently serves as the Chairman of the Atlanta, Georgia-based 501(c)4 non-profit corporation. A native of Atlanta, Mr. Hollis background includes an extensive career as a banker, entrepreneur and financial advisor to a diverse array of multinational clients. In collaboration with Deborah Matthis, he wrote In the Arena, about his late brother, Michael Hollis. He shares the story of Michael’s journey to entrepreneurial heights, with a glimpse into the rare mindset that allows a person of limited means to reach the skies professionally despite the fact that many people and practices blocked his view he believed that he could get there.

Free Verse Presents Poetic Jazz Society

Wednesday, October 4, 7:30pm
Venue: Historic Dock Street Theatre
Address: 135 Church Street
Admission: $11


Join Grammy-nominated drummer and producer Quentin E. Baxter and Charleston Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker for a night of poetry and jazz. Joining Amaker on stage will be local and regional poets who were a part of the Poetic Jazz Society, a group of writers and musicians who were hot in the Charleston scene in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Featured poets: Sunn, Jonathan Brown and more to be announced soon. Hosted by Harold Singletary.