Events

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Usher in spring this year by attending the twelfth annual African American Travel Conference (AATC) to be held in Virginia Beach, Virginia on April 12th through 14th at the conference center in the city. The host venues for this exciting and profitable event are both the Sheraton and Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotels.  What better way celebrate the beginning of the warm season and learn what’s going on in the travel industry at the same time.  If you are involved in aspect of travel, this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Blue_Man_Group_-_LogoBlue Man Group will perform at Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta on January 18-23. Although Blue Man Group has toured previously with its megastar arena rock show, this marks the very first theatrical production to tour North America. The group on tour features a new physical design that centers around a proscenium-sized LED curtain and high-resolution screen creating an entirely new visual experience for Broadway houses across the nation.

The critically acclaimed Blue Man Group creates experiences that defy categorization. Their multi-media performances feature three bald and blue characters who take the audience on a journey that is funny, intelligent and visually stunning. A live band, whose haunting tribal rhythms help drive the show to its climax, accompanies the Blue Men.

“Until now, we have never mounted a touring version of our theatrical production,” says Blue Man Group co-founder Philip Stanton. “The main reason for this is we needed to find a way to transform theatres of all shapes and sizes into spaces in which the Blue Man can intimately connect with the audience, where the audience can become engaged with the spirit of the show and of the Blue Man himself. Our goal with this production, as with all of our productions, is to help audience members reconnect with their own sense of discovery, with their own sense of what is possible in their lives."

People all over the world are celebrating not only Bob Marley's birthday, but also his music, legacy, and message.

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The sun is shining, the weather is sweet, and these events are sure to make you want to move your dancing feet! Ambassador David's Productions, your “Caribbean Connection,” is set to host the Bob Marley Birthday Bash Tour in various cities around Michigan.

So maybe that Midwestern weather won’t be as sunny and sweet as that of the reggae legend’s birthplace. Nevertheless, the event is sure to be a blast. Welcoming all ages with advanced tickets starting at just $16, the tour kicks off on Saturday, January 29, in Kalamazoo, MI at the State Theatre. Caribbean food, crafts, and the best sounds of the islands make this party one of the most popular Bob Marley birthday celebrations in the country.

Ambassador David Productions specializes in producing, promoting, and providing entertainment for different events all with a Caribbean theme that promises to “take you on a musical cruise through the Caribbean Islands focusing on the Island of Jamaica.” With a network of over 20 different Caribbean bands, and many musicians, DJs, and other entertainers, it’s no wonder Ambassador David Productions has put together over nine years of successful Bob Marley Birthday Bashes with this year marking bash number ten.  The tour continues throughout February and March making stops through the Michigan cities of St.Joseph, Holland, Grand Rapids, South Bend, and Richland.

mlkMartin Luther King, Jr. Day, a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is observed on the third Monday of January each year around the time of King's birthday, January 15. Officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000, many people around the world have also begun to recognize the holiday.

Virtually every major city in the US has planned some type of observance ceremony. Many communities dedicate more than one day to the legacy of Dr. King. Celebrations everywhere include church services, school assemblies and volunteer projects. Various organizations like the NAACP will be honoring people who have best exemplified the dream of Dr. King. Many programs will include people reciting the civil rights leader famous “I Have a Dream" Speech.

Gambia’s Tenth International Roots Festival offers a West African Cultural Extravaganza!

RootsIf you have been longing to take your first trip to Africa or a return trip, you can start the year out right by visiting the Gambia during its Tenth International Roots Festival. Set to take place on February 4th through 11th, the country known as the Smiling Coast of Africa will definitely be smiling during this festival that has been gaining momentum each year. All types of cultural festivities and educational opportunities about the mother country make this African Diaspora homecoming a time of enlightenment as well as excitement. There is still time to make plans to attend this cultural re-union and rededication.

zorafestThe Zora Neale Hurston Festival, held each year in January in Eatonville, Florida is a time when culture and literary enthusiasts come together to celebrate the life and contributions of the noted author and social activist. The 2011 Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities will be held on January 22 – 30.  Each year the festival attracts thousands of locals and tourists with impressive roster of arts, humanities and cultural programming. The event features museum exhibitions, public talks, panel discussions, workshops and concerts. The outdoor festival will take place that week-end on January 28-30th.


The festival is currently seeking people from all over to join in the fun.  Those with crafted art forms, relics and other merchandise that reflects the culture and traditions of African ancestry can display their wares display as vendors and participants. Opportunities to show your talents in the performing arts are also available. Scholars and interested writers are invited to submit papers for the 2012 Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. The  festival has delivered every year fun and entertainment while continuously being a cultural and learning experience at the same time.

esprit_muralKnown to many as the Festival Mondial des Arts Negres, the third edition of the World Festival of Black Arts takes places this year in Dakar, Senegal December 10-31, welcoming visitors and artists from around the world in a festivity of arts, culture, and independence.

Sometimes referred to as Fesman, the festival brings a spirit of celebration: of arts, culture, and music of course, but also of independence, pride, and solidarity. The first of its kinds took place in Dakar in 1966, initiated by then Senegalese President, Leopold Senghor. Just a few years after Senegal gained independence from France, the festival came at a time where the black struggle for civil rights was faced with many obstacles but still seemed steady and perhaps even promising. In America, activists were making strides in the American Civil Rights Movement, and Africa as a whole was moving to end colonization. The festival was as political as it was artistic, and it was in this context that the 1966 edition sought to both restore and display the noblesse of black Africans from their own cultural and artistic viewpoints.


The dazzling stage performance that is bringing audiences all over to their feet!


photo-018The Dream Girls Tour is continuously enchanting audiences around the country.  After returning to the stage early this year, the glitzy play has continued touring to sold-out audiences all over the country. Having just dazzled audiences in Atlanta and Miami, the tour is set to continue in other southeastern cities through November.   Making a stop the last week-end in October in Nashville, Tenn., the tour goes on to Charlotte, N.C. before ending the month of November in Tampa and West Palm Beach, Florida.


Since the musical stage play first opened on Broadway in 1981 as a riveting success, racking up awards and garnering acclaim, the popular classic still has fans turning out in great numbers.  The original version made Jennifer Holiday an over-night success playing the lead role of Effie and doing the song “I’m not living without you.”  That same role and song did the same thing for Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls movie version a few years ago. Now newcomer Moya Angela is playing the role of Effie and receiving rave reviews for “I’m not Living without You!” Move over Jennifers. There’s a new gal in town!


Moya Angela has assumed the legendary role Effie White.  And she is doing a bang-up job filling her shoes as her voice has touched chords in audiences in the various cities already. Angela puts her own stamp on Effie’s role as the shattered pushed aside fourth Dreamgirl, and also on the production’s signature song “I’m not Living without you.”  Her amazing vocal range, flavored with heartfelt emotions, is bringing audiences to their feet several times throughout the production.


Full of energy and off-stage drama, Dreamgirls tell the story of an up-and-coming 1960’s girl vocalist group that vaguely resembles the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes. The powerful thought-provoking story is about three hopeful talented young ladies including Effie White who are embarking on a career as a show-stopping female vocalist group.  Personal and professional conflict arises when the beautiful vocalist emerges as the lead singing star of the group rather than the full-voiced Effie.


This play thoroughly entertains with it astonishing costumes, stage glitz and skillful dance moves. Even though it shows the drama and down side of the characters when off stage, the production still paints the theme loud and clear that the strong can and will survive.  For more information and dates of the show, visit
www.dreamgirlsonstage.com.


All photos by Joan Marcus.








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South African artistic event promotes culture awareness while entertaining.

facelikemine2-largeThe AfroVibes Festival is a multidisciplinary festival that brings the best of innovative and experimental theatre, dance and visual arts from South Africa to international stages. An initiative of the late young South African artist Vuyo Raymond Matinyana, the festival will be touring the United Kingdom in October. Afrovibes is a biennial event currently under the artistic direction of South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma.


Maqoma, together with a team of English and Dutch programmers brings together an exciting program featuring well-known names such as Paul Grootboom, South Africa’s well-known and most provocative director.  Other festival participants include Asanda Phewa, South Africa´s 2008 best young theatre makers;  Peter Hayes, director of Cape Town’s Hearts and Eyes Collective Theatre; the Via Volcano dance group , South African 2010 Mapantsula Festival champions, UK hip-hop artist Benji Reid and other new and upcoming talent.

Noted reggae artist Jah Cure among hit list of performers

Jah_CureIf you have been longing to visit Dominica, now is the time! The 14th Annual World Creole Music Festival is set to get underway in the city of Roseau. Jah Cure, one of reggae’s most revered performers will be a headliner for this festival taking place for three days on October 29th through the 31st. A well-established Caribbean and international platform for reggae artist and other musicians, the festival is widely regarded as one of the only truly indigenous music events in the Caribbean. Past festivals have attracted some of the most renowned musical groups and soloists from the Creole-speaking world.

Jah Cure is a popular Jamaican reggae musician whose hits include “King in this Jungle,” “Longing for Love,” and “True Relections.”  Colin Piper, CEO/Director of Discover Dominica Authority expressed extreme pleasure in having Jah Cure set to perform at Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival. “Securing the appearance of such a popular reggae artist as Jah Cure raises awareness for World Creole Music Festival and his unique style of reggae will complement the traditional Creole music which this event celebrates,” said Piper.

Alsaka_alcan_army_1942_engineersThe Rev. Dr. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., leader of the campaign to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance will visit Alaska again this year to co-host the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Alaska Alcan Highway Celebration on October 28-3O in Delta Junction, Fairbanks and Anchorage. He will be joining Bishop Dave Thomas, Alaska Representative of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)

The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) founded by Dr. Myers has established the 28 of October as a significant date for celebrating African American military achievement. "The festival is dedicated to the African American army engineers who built the historic Alcan Highway during World War II and completed the Sikanni Chief River Bridge on October 28, 1942," states Juneteenth Alaska festival co- host Bishop Dave Thomas, the founder and pastor of Jesus Holy Temple in Anchorage, who also serves as Chairman of the National Juneteenth Armed Services Commission of  NJOF.  

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Cape Town will host monumental tourism event conferences this fall.

The year 2010 is proving to be the year of golden opportunities for South Africa as a nation. On the heels of hosting  2010 FIFA WORLD CUP, the country is still in the spotlight as it prepares to be a part of the global tourism stage as host to at least two international destination events. South African Tourism chairman Jabu Mabuza has stated that 2010 is a year of immense importance for South Africa.  


In addition to the glory of hosting the World Cup, a very significant part of 2010 World Tourism Day celebrations will be held in South Africa this year. The country will also be the destination where, for the first time in the history of South Africa, over 350 of the world’s travel trade decision makers will be visiting as delegates of the nation’s most important Mega-FAM Trip – The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) 2010 International Sales Conference.