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Oyibo Afoaku
N-M Black Culture Center

George Vlahakis
Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, January 30, 2003

Africana Festival to be a highlight of IUB's Black History Month celebration

To introduce the diversity and exciting aspects of the art, music and dancing of African culture, an Africana Festival will be presented on Feb. 19 at Indiana University Bloomington.

The festival will be a day-long series of programs open to everyone, including those on the IU Bloomington campus and in surrounding communities. The theme for the festival is "Unity in the Spirit of Diversity."

Among the programs offered will be a music and dance lecture/demonstration, an African drumming workshop, multicultural storytelling and a panel discussion, "The Africana Student Experience in Bloomington," made up of students from Monroe County Community School Corp., IU Bloomington and Ivy Tech.

Events will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. 7th St., between 5 and 8 p.m.

The festival is being presented by the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University Bloomington, the School of Education, the Department of African Studies, the Groups Program, FASE Mentoring Program and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Marshall Coulgh, professor of history at the University of Northern Colorado, will present the keynote lecture, "Sharing the Struggle: African Americans and the Independence of Kenya."

Oyibo Afoaku, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, said the term "Africana" refers to the rich diversity of all people of African descent, Africans on the continent and Africans in the diaspora, around the world. "The Africana Festival therefore is an inclusive program. It is even more relevant today because of ongoing efforts to improve race relations in our community through programs that are inclusive, informative and positive," she said.

Daytime programs and events at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center are free and open to the public. Tickets for a Soul Food Buffet dinner at Alumni Hall are $12 for adults and $5 for students, children and seniors. Dinner tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. For more information, call 812-855-9271.

The evening program will feature an Introduction to Africana people, the African American Arts Institute, the International Vocal Ensemble, poetry and a fashion show. More than 20 ethnic vendors from the Bloomington community will participate in daytime events in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

Other festival sponsors include the African American Arts Institute; the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies; African Studies; African American Culture Center Library; Auxiliary Programs and Services; Liberal Arts and Management Program; the Indiana Memorial Union; the School of Music; Orientation Programs; Foster Quadrangle; Monroe County Community School Corp.; Sheer Elegance Draperies, Blinds and More; and the Department of Theatre and Drama.

Festival schedule

Part I: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

10-10:30 a.m. - Storytelling, Grand Hall

10:40-11:40 a.m. - Lecture by Coulgh, Grand Hall

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Music and dance lecture/demonstration, Dance Studio, Room A217, Professor Iris Rosa, director of the IU African American Dance Company

12:30-1:30 p.m. - Student panel discussion, Grand Hall, moderated by Aniko Bah, director of multicultural education, Monroe County Community School Corp.

1:30-3 p.m. - Drumming workshop, Dance Studio, Anthony J. Artis, owner/director of AMOAHS African Drum Works

Part II: 5 - 8 p.m.: Alumni Hall

5-7 p.m. - Soul Food Dinner

6:20 p.m. - Welcoming remarks by Gloria Gibson, IUB associate vice chancellor, Multicultural Affairs

6:25 p.m. - Introduction to Africana People, John Stanfield, chair, African American and African Diaspora Studies

6:30 p.m. - International Vocal Ensemble, led by Mary Goetze, IUB professor of music

6:50 p.m. - Poetry reading by Murray McGibbon, IUB professor of theatre and drama

6:55 p.m. - IU Soul Review, led by Tyron Cooper, director

7:10 p.m. - Second poetry reading by McGibbon

7:15 p.m. - Performance of "God's Progress," led by James Mumford, director, African American Choral Ensemble

7:30 p.m. - Fashion Show, Doi La-Kotour Fashions and Urban Stylz Inc., Bloomington, Ind.

8 p.m. - Thanks and closing remarks by Afoaku and John Hanson, director of the IUB African Studies Program