Smithsonian African Art Awards Dinner Honors Contemporary African Artists

November 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

The Smithsonian’s historic Arts and Industries building in SW Washington, DC was the venue for the first Annual African Art Awards Dinner on Friday October 28, hosted by the National Museum of African Art. Museum director Johnetta Betsch Cole launched the fundraising dinner as a way to honor established and up-and-coming artists, and also to show gratitude to major philanthropic organizations that have supported the museum and its mission.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

The 2016 awardees are Kenyan born artist Ato Malinda and Nigerian-British Yinka Shonibare, MBE, one of the most important contemporary artists in the « Read the rest of this entry »

The West Indies and West Africa converge for Africa Underground 2

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Moko Jumbie

I can’t really see myself missing After Hours at African Art, when the Smithsonian opens the doors of its museum after hours to revelers who can dance, eat, drink, party, and enjoy the breathtaking exhibitions there. After being away from the country for a couple of months, I returned just in time to attend the second edition of Africa Underground. For the hugely successful first installment at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC in February, the organizers took us down south for a Brazilian samba-flavored showcase of art, music and culture. This time (the party was on May 20) the serving was distinctly West Indian in its character, yet an equally joyous and colorful exposé of the connection between the Caribbean and West Africa. The sold out event featured live music out on the grounds, and on the inside a DJ, poetry and spoken word, arts and crafts, and a talk on the West Indian/West African connection. I arrived a bit late, unfortunately, and missed a great performance in the garden by the moko jumbies (stilt walkers). But right after that Papa Wabe,
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Afro-Brazilian Theme at Africa Underground (After Hours at African Art)

February 17, 2011 § 5 Comments

It has an almost subversive sound to it; the idea that a prestigious national museum would open its doors after dark to drinking, dancing and partying! I mean, the museum’s director is the distinguished former Spellman College President, Dr. Johnnetta Cole!! But it’s all good, and that’s what’s going to happen Friday 18th February at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, in the first of its Africa Underground series that it bills as “After Hours at African Art.” It’s a major African Diaspora event that will feature a Brazilian theme; as Dr. Cole put it in the museum’s blog, “it’s an exciting way to celebrate the ties between Africa and the African Diaspora, and for our museum to continue a vigorous conversation with communities in the Diaspora.” To that end, the organizers have brought in Zezeh Brazil Samba Troupe to have you practice your samba steps; there’ll be African wine and beer, Brazilian cocktails, « Read the rest of this entry »

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