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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 | 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Various New Orleans Locations

Free and open to the public.

“Let’s Talk” – The International Day of Drumming & Healing, in unison with the 400 Years of African American History Commission commemorating the 400th year arrival of enslaved Africans at Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619 and locally, the 300th year arrival of the first two ships, L’Aurore and Le Duc du Maine carrying enslaved Africans from Benin, West Africa to Louisiana on June 6, 1719.

New Orleans will be filled with the sound of drums and the sacred vibration of healing prayers, chants and songs.  Ashé Cultural Arts Center, the 400th Commission, Congo Square Preservation Society, and United Culture Bearers of Louisiana are coordinating 12 hours of activities beginning at 9:00 am and continuing until 9:00 pm.

Locations

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

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.

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 http://bit.ly/TOBH-2019

For more information and to include your contribution contact:  Luther Gray @ 504-495-0463 and email babaluther@gmail.com.   Stay tuned for updates.

 

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

FOCUS

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.   

CURATORIAL STATEMENT -

Maafa: Experience

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?

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