The 12th Annual African American Cultural Celebration, scheduled Saturday, Jan. 26 at the N.C. Museum of History is the statewide kick-off for Black History Month that showcases African American heritage and culture with 75 presenters of dance, music, storytelling, craft and film.
A program of the N.C. African American Heritage Commission, the free African American Cultural Celebration takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 at the Museum, located in downtown Raleigh. You can watch Michelle Lanier, the director of the Commission and the Senior Program Director for African American Heritage Development and Cultural Tourism for the N.C. Arts Council, discuss the celebration on WTVD 11 along with Emily Grant, coordinator of Youth Programs Coordinator at the Museum of History.
The celebration will open with the nationally recognized Winston-Salem State University Burke Singers, a female a capella group. Award-winning musicians, actors, filmmakers and writers will join dancers, re-enactors, craftspeople and other presenters to celebrate North Carolina’s diverse African American heritage and will also feature educational activities.
This year’s theme, Defining Freedom, honors the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed in 1863. Learn about this life-changing document from several presenters, such as children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons, who will discuss her forthcoming book Hope’s Gift; Dianne Pledger from the N.C. Freedom Monument Park Project; and others.
From performances of African rhythm and dance by Aya Shabu to the R&B, pop, blues and boogie-woogie sounds of the Vibe Band, the African American Cultural Celebration will be chock-full of entertainment. Engaging presentations range from Chef Kabui’s cooking demonstration to a panel discussion with members of the N.C. Writers Network. And there’s plenty for kids: a scavenger hunt, hands-on crafts, and more.
The African American Cultural Celebration will be presented in six categories that encompass culture and history. Several event highlights follow. For a complete schedule of all performances and presentations, go to ncmuseumofhistory.org.
Celebrate Music and Movement
Catch performances by musicians and dancers:
Celebrate History, Drama and Film
Learn about African American life from these individuals and groups:
Celebrate Literature and the Spoken Word
Hear from authors and storytellers who will share their expertise:
Celebrate Craft and Arts Traditions
Watch these artisans and others at work:
Celebrate Food and Health
Learn about cooking and healthy living:
Celebrate Education and Heritage
Get information about historic sites, museums and organizations across North Carolina:
The celebration is supported by the N.C. African American Heritage Commission; the N.C. Museum of History Associates; the Raleigh Arts Commission; and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, with funds from the United Arts campaign as well as the N.C. Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.
For more information about the N.C. Museum of History, call (919) 807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org.