Friday, June 29, 2012

41st Annual International African Arts Festival; 6/30-7/4

The highly anticipated 41st Annual International African Arts Festival (IAAF) will take place Saturday, June 30 through Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 10 AM – 9 PM rain or shine at Commodore Barry Park (Navy Street at Park and Flushing Avenues) in Brooklyn, New York. The theme of this year’s IAAF is Baadenyya (baa-deny-ya), its English translation means brotherhood and sisterhood - derives from several ethnic groups of West Africa: Mandingo (Sierra Leone/Liberia), Bambara (Mali), Malenke (Guinea), Dioula (Ivory Coast).

The International African Arts Festival (IAAF) began in 1971 as the African Street Carnival, a PTA block party fundraiser for Uhura Sasa (Freedom Now School), an independent school in Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Local entertainers, arts and crafts vendors, along with food prepared by the parents attracted an estimated 2,000 people who attended, making it an instant success. That early format of entertainment, food, and marketplace drew increasing crowds annually and became known as the African Street Carnival. Four years later, the festival moved to the field at Boys and Girls High School where it became the African Street Festival.

This year’s five-day IAAF has themes for each day with coinciding performances. Afro Latin Jazz sensation Cita Rodriquez, Daughters of Makeba Ensemble, Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble are just a few artists scheduled to participate in Saturday’s opening day’s “Tribute to Women in the Arts”. In “Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence & Bob Marley’s and Reggae’s Global Influence,” some of Sunday’s confirmed participants includes Sister Betty, New York Brass Band, K-Vibe & Ruff Scott, Destiny Africa - Children's Choir from Uganda, AKOM, Clarisa the Violin Diva, Secouba, Melame Gange and the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

In an effort to support the five-day IAAF’s production, attendees are asked to make minimum donations of $3 per adult and $1 per child for admission.

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International African Arts Festival Promo

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