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.

Community Tribute Luncheon

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 2017 MOJA Arts Festival Planning and Community Tribute Luncheon Committees salute this year’s leaders:

2017 Community Tribute Luncheon Honorees:

Mr. Marcus Amaker, Artist
Ms. Mary Joseph, Business
Ms. Vertelle A. Kenion, Contribution to MOJA
Mr. Everard Rutledge, Civic/Comm. Service
Col. Joseph Dawson, Ret., Education
Mr. Frankie “The Big Bopper” Green, Media
Ms. Cherry Seabrook, Medicine
Ms. Jada E. Orr, Outstanding HS Student
Ms. Gaylyn Singletary, Outstanding College Student
Rev. Dr. Eric Mack, Politics-Local
Rev. Dr. Herbert Temoney, Religion
Ms. Radia Heyward, Rising Star
Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, The Arts

Claflin University Concert Choir

Saturday, October 7 at 4:00pm
Venue: Calvary Baptist Church
Address: 620 Rutledge Avenue
Admission: Free

The Claflin University Concert Choir will be featured in a concert of classical, popular and gospel music in celebration of Calvary Baptist Church’s 152nd Anniversary. Claflin University is an HBCU founded in 1869 in Orangeburg, S.C. Under the direction on Dr. Isaiah McGee, the choir performs nearly 100 concerts annually, including at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and his wife Sandy are concert honorary chairs. Mayor Tecklenburg, an accomplished pianist, will open the concert with a musical rendition on piano.

Sugar in the Grits

Saturday, October 7 at 7:00pm
Venue: Circular Congregational Church
Address: 150 Meeting Street
Admission: $21 Adults
Sponsored By: The Gullah Geechee Angel Network and We are Family

The Gullah Geechee Angel Network and We are Family present Sugar in the Grits, written and acted by talented up and coming playwright Vanity Reid Deterville, and an ensemble of skilled actors. This compelling story told through poetry, music, dance and oral history follows a young man from a family with both Caribbean and African Heritage and deep Southern Baptist roots in Charleston, South Carolina. As he comes of age, he experiences the hardship of having his feet in two marginalized groups; the black community and the gay community. He finds strength and resilience in his Gullah/Geechee culture setting him on an incredible journey to become the person he has only dreamed of being. Thus marks the beginning of this transwoman’s remarkable trek.


Free Verse Poetry Reading with Kimberly Simms

Saturday, October 7 at 7:30pm
Venue: The Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl
Address: 132 Spring Street
Admission: Free

Ron Rash, award-winning author of Serena, says about Kimberly Simms: “she writes with eloquence and empathy about an important part of Southern history – too often neglected.”

Kimberly’s literary voice is rooted in the Southern tradition of storytelling, informed by her British and Southern lineage. She is an award-winning poet who entertains and educates with poetry that is both poignant and inspiring.

In her debut book of poems, Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill, Kimberly chronicles the lives of textile workers in the Piedmont region with historical accuracy and imaginative insight. These are poems of sorrow, joy, and redemption that linger in the heart.

She was the 2016 Carl Sandburg National Historic Site Writer-In Residence (Flat Rock, NC); she is a member of the SC Humanities Council’s Speaker’s Bureau and a pioneer in the world of poetry slams.

A graduate of Furman University (BA) and Clemson University (MA), her work has appeared in over 30 literary journals including the Asheville Poetry Review and the Broad River Review. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University.

She is the proud founder of Wits End Poetry, a non-profit now celebrating 15 years of creating South Carolina poetry events and educational outreach.

When not writing, you’ll find Kimberly hiking and raising her chickens.

Charleston Boxing Club Annual MOJA Cup

Saturday, October 7 at 7:00pm

Venue: Arthur Christopher Community Center
Address: 265 Fishburne Street
Admission: At the door only; $15 Adults; $5 Students under 18; Free for children under 8
Sponsored by: The Charleston Boxing Club
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.