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.

4th Grade Readout

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 Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Marjory Wentworth, and Chris Colderly.

Free Verse Poetry- Poet’s Laureate Show

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

Featuring Marjory Wentworth (poet laureate of South Carolina), Ed Madden (poet laureate of Columbia, SC), Sleepy Eyez Carter (poet laureate of Augusta, GA) and Marcus Amaker (poet laureate of Charleston, SC).

MARJORY WENTWORTH’s poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize five times. Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, and The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. She is the co-writer with Juan Mendez of Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights, co-editor with Kwame Dawes of Seeking, Poetry and Prose inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles. Her most recent collaborations include We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, with Herb Frazier and Dr. Bernard Powers and Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets with Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderly (2017). Marjory Wentworth is on the faculty at The Art Institute of Charleston. She is the co-founder and former president of the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts. She serves on the Editorial Board of the University of South Carolina’s Palmetto Poetry Series, and she is the poetry editor for Charleston Currents. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University, and she is the Poet Laureate of South Carolina.

In January 2015, DR. ED MADDEN was appointed as Columbia’s inaugural poet laureate. Dr. Madden will serve for four years.
Ed Madden is author of four books of poetry–Signals, which won the 2007 SC Poetry Book Prize; Prodigal: Variations; Nest; and Ark, forthcoming in 2016. His chapbook My Father’s Housewas selected for the Seven Kitchens Press Editor’s Series. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2007, The Book of Irish American Poetry, and in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Poetry Ireland Review, Los Angeles Review, and online at The Good Men Project.

University of South Carolina graduate Marcus Amaker is Charleston, South Carolina’s first Poet Laureate. His poetry has been featured on TEDx, PBS Newshour, A&E, the Huffington Post and Alaska Airlines magazine, along with several journals and poetry collections. He is the former entertainment editor of Charleston, SC’s daily newspaper, The Post and Courier, where he worked for eight years. His latest book, Mantra, is also an app for iPhone and Android devices. He’s a well-known graphic/web designer and videographer, producing award-winning work for many nonprofits and organizations. He’s also the lead graphic designer for the national music magazine, No Depression. This year, he was named one of Charleston’s 50 Most Influential people by Charleston Business Magazine. As a musician, Marcus has released more than twenty albums of music since 1986. Free Verse, Charleston, SC’s first poetry festival, is Marcus’ brainchild.

Augusta, Ga’s poet laureate. Sleepy Eyez Carter, born ANTHONY CARTER, is an American Spoken Word Artist from Augusta, Georgia. A lover of the art form of words Sleepy has been presenting in spoken word since 2010, however being no stranger to music he has been presenting in the art of rap since the 6th grade. Blending social-political perspective with deep rooted spiritual teachings Sleepy challenges his listeners to think and take notice to the world around them

Heritage and Community- MOJA at Magnolia Community Garden

Friday, October 6
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Magnolia Park & Community Garden
Address: 0 Sycamore Street
Admission: Free

Special Thanks To:

MOJA is proud to present free outdoor concerts in some of the city’s most beloved community spaces. Head to West Ashley for an evening of MOJA programming, featuring an entertaining performance from contemporary violinist Daniel D. blending jazz, R&B, pop, inspirational, and more!

Ellington’s Sacred Concerts

Friday, October 6 at 8:00pm
Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center
Address: 95 Calhoun Street
Admission: $28.00- $50.40
For Tickets: Click here for tickets or call 843-242-3099

Local jazz impresario and Charleston favorite, Charlton Singleton, and Nathan L. Nelson, Founding Director of Lowcountry Voices once again combine their considerable talents to bring Charleston audiences the landmark Sacred Concerts from jazz’s most prolific artist, Duke Ellington. With a fifteen piece jazz orchestra, and a choir assembling over one hundred voices, including Lowcountry Voices and Friends, this masterful ensemble offers incredible interpretations of Ellington’s work in the acoustically renowned Gaillard Center.


Women & Cooke: A Tribute to Sam Cooke

Friday, October 6 at 8:00pm
Doors at 7:00pm
Venue: Charleston Music Hall
Address: 37 John Street
Admission: $22 Adults; $17 Students & Groups of 6+ (additional fees may apply)
For Tickets: or 843-853-2252

Women & Cooke: A Tribute to Sam Cooke features some of Charleston’s best female vocalists including Hazel Ketchum, Lindsay Holler, Alva Anderson, Cindy Kearney, McKenzie Eddy, Vikki Matsis, Exavia Baxter, and Erin Johns. Sam Cooke’s influence can be heard in the music of artists as varied as Michael Jackson, Al Green and the Heptones, and these women will pay homage to the “king of soul” by covering some of his most popular hits, as well as delving into a few of his deeper cuts. The best part about this series is the way these incredible female vocalists interpret the male vocal range and sound—you never know what song you will hear next.