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Arts and Culture

Don’t Miss the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta

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In Atlanta, from mid July through September, the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) will feature an exciting lineup of artistic and educational performances in film, music, visual arts, theater, and literary arts.

With a focus on promoting art and culture as vehicles for bringing diverse communities together, attendees can expect everything from performances and conversations with tap dancer and choreographer, Savion Glover, to a Dance Across the Diaspora symposium and an International Youth Poetry Slam.

[Related: Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Hosts Art for Life Benefit]

Now in its 27th year, the program “spotlights dance and the dancers, choreographers and dance companies — the luminaries and trailblazers — who shaped and defined the discipline.” According to the organization’s website, dance is the focus of the 2015 season, focusing a historical lens through performances, films, workshops and a symposium on dance. The journey will begin with the forms dominant through the 18th century – the ring shout, the chica, the juba – to those that emerged in the 20th and 21st centuries and continue today to have a global impact. Here’s a snapshot of the upcoming events taking place in July.

  • July 17 - Gallery Hop I: Intersecting Disciplines: Visual/Art/ Dance – Gallery Hop guests travel by bus to three galleries for a private reception, tour and dance performance. Galleries include: Bill Lowe Gallery, Alan Avery Art Company and ZuCot Gallery.
  • July 18 - Dance across the Diaspora: A historical lens on a black cultural movement – Local, national and international dance experts, scholars and performers introduce the NBAF season focus on dance across the African Diaspora in a day-long symposium that examines the national and global impact and the history, traditions and rich variety of dance forms that emerged from the 18th century to the present.
  • July 18- 18th annual Brave New Voices (BNV) International Youth Poetry Slam Festival – Convening more than 600 top young poets, spoken word artists and teen poetry slam champions from 73 cities within and outside of the United States, ages 13 to 19, BNV culminates in an Olympic-style poetry slam competition showcasing the creative genius of young poets and emerging world changers from around the globe.
  • July 18 - Master Class with Savion Glover – In “SoLe Sanctuary,” Savion Glover, the celebrated tap master and trailblazer, offers an astounding celebration and recognition of his mentors Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr. among others.
  • July 26 - Film Screening and Conversations: Representing US: Black Dance in Film Screening of “Stormy Weather” – As part of its Film Program, NBAF offers a curated film series in partnership with Stephane Dunn, associate professor and director of Morehouse College’s Cinema, Television & Emerging Media Studies (CTEMS) program.

Over the years, NBAF has featured acclaimed artists like Maya Angelou, Wynton Marsalis, Pearl Cleage, Spike Lee, Katherine Dunham, Harry Belafonte, Maurice Hines, Maxi Priest, National Ballet de Guinea, Gladys Knight, Les Nubians, Philadanco, Cicely Tyson, August Wilson, Alfre Woodard, Angie Stone, Nikki Giovanni, and many others.

NBAF is a nonprofit organization celebrated in and outside of Atlanta. It is recognized as the oldest multidisciplinary arts organization in the United States focused exclusively on the arts and artists of African descent.

Visit National Black Arts Festival to Learn more about upcoming NBAF events.