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Maafa Season/Juneteenth - International Day of Drumming


JUNETEENTH COMMEMORATION:  Let’s Talk – The International Day of Drumming and Healing

June 19, 2019                                                                                                                               

Free and open to the public. 

9:00 AM          North Claiborne Avenue at Caffin Avenue, community drum caravan will travel along North Claiborne Avenue, making stops along the way, ending at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk at Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. & Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

11:00 AM        Algiers Ferry Landing, Drumming with the Algiers Tricentennial Committee

Noon               Ashé Power House Theater, 1731 Baronne St., NOLA; The Other Black History (theater); performance for youth organizations only. Call Drena Clay-Johnson at (504) 569-9070 for ticket information.

Noon               Black Star Books & Caffe, 800 Belleville St., Algiers – committee honoring the life of Maroon leader Juan San Malo Juneteenth Event, and the Algiers Tricentennial Committee.  Drumming noon-8:00 PM.

12:30PM          The Donald Harrison Senior Museum, 1930 Independence Street. NOLA, with the Congo Kids, Young Guardians of the Flame and Silence is Violence

1:00 PM           Community Book Center, King & Queen Emporium, and Froot Orleans, 2500 block of historic Bayou Road, NOLA

3:00 PM           Historic Congo Square, 701 N. Rampart St., NOLA; the Citywide International Day of Drumming & Healing Ceremony 

6:00 PM           Le Musée de f.p.c., 2336 Esplanade Ave., NOLA; an excerpt from the theatrical production of Code Noir, an outdoor historical drama

7:00 PM           Ashé Power House Theater, 1731 Baronne St., NOLA; The Other Black History, (theater); tickets at


Maafa:  Experience – Annual Side-by-Side Maafa Exhibition

June 28, 2019 – August 22, 2019

Opening Reception, June 28, 2019; 6:00-9:00 PM

Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA

Curator:  Gason Ayisyin


The focus of this year’s exhibition is the individuals from all walks of life who annually convene for Maafa. Past Maafa exhibitions have celebrated other themes; however, it’s the attendees that bring Maafa to life.  They are the dancers, drummers, activists, students and quiet observers; they are the children and elders, the locals and global travelers.  We seek to highlight what drives their participation, their lasting memories and the impact on their lives.   


Since 2000, Ashe Cultural Arts Center has hosted the Maafa Commemoration, an experience that has grown over the course of nearly two decades to a highly anticipated summer event.   Maafa, or great tragedy, is an academic term coined by Dr. Marimba Ani, and there are many Maafa commemorations throughout the United States.  Whether it’s in Alabama, New York or Louisiana, Maafa has the unifying themes of remembrance and love, though the tone of each celebration will mirror its location and participants.   

In particular, the New Orleans Maafa Commemoration has all the elements of a moving historical and spiritual experience.  It’s a historic city with historic neighborhoods and a plethora of landmarks, music, art and more.  All of these elements converge onto the Maafa experience to create a truly special moment.  However, the moment would not, be what it is without the energy that people bring to the event:  the beat of their drums, the melodies of their voices, their burning sage, their meditations and prayers.

This year’s exhibit highlights the Maafa experience through the lens of the attendee.  Artists are invited to consider the following questions:  What makes an attendee travel to Maafa?  Why do many attendees come year after year?  What does Maafa instill within them and how are these values outwardly manifested in their everyday lives?



July 3, 2019, 7:00-9:00 PM

Ashé Power House, 1731 Baronne St., NOLA

Featuring  Silhouette Dance Company, N’Fungola Sibo Traditional African Dance Company, Sunni Patterson, and The 2019 Grand Griot Freddi Evans Williams



July 6, 2019 | 7:00 AM

Congo Square @ Armstrong Park


A sacred ceremony. An unforgettable drum procession to The Tomb of the Unknown Slave, historic slave markers, and other significant points of interest associated with the slave trade; ending with a ceremonial releasing of flowers at the mighty Mississippi River.


 For more information on any of the above events,

call (504) 813-9008, (504) 495-0463 or (504) 569-9070.

Earlier Event: June 15
UNstaged Concert
Later Event: June 19
The Other Black History