port of harlem magazine
 
Mosaic Theater
 
Read Africa Week Festival @ Francis Gregory Library
 
January 17 – January 30, 2019
 
read africa week



Francis Gregory Library in Washington, DC will celebrate Read Africa Week with a festival featuring a recyclable art workshop, Andrika symbol learning and coloring session, animated storytelling, and a free taste of authentic African food for children and young adults. The Festival will also encourage participants to select, check-out, and read a book vetted for their accuracy with portraying Africa from the library’s shelves.

Read Africa Week Festival at Francis Gregory Library is co-sponsored by the Francis Gregory Library, Friends of the Francis Gregory Library, and the Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership. The Festival is Saturday, February 2, 2019, 11a – 3p. The event is free.

The hour hands-on presentations start at 11a and arts educator Karen O. Brown, textile artist Millée Spears, and storyteller Baba-C will led the festive activities.

Arts educator and professional artist Brown has several permanent art installations in Metro DC including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The world traveler takes pride in creating art from used materials. Brown will lead a book-making journey using simple recycled materials. During the hands-on workshop, she encourages students to learn to care for our local and world environment. Students will use their newly made creations in the following Adrinka symbols workshop.

Spears is best known for her unique mix of urban styling and cultural textiles fused into wearable art, often with ancient Adinkra symbols of the Ashanti people, who are centered in Ghana. Young attendees will learn about the origin and meaning of ancient Adinkra symbols through creative exploration.

Griot/Master Storyteller Baba-C has a unique style of interactive storytelling that often uses prose, spoken word, poetry, games, and other forms of creative expressions. At the festival, the unscripted Baba C will pan his audience before determining which stories from his repertoire to share as magical expressions. “A good time will be had by all, but if you are not careful you might learn something,” added Baba-C.

The national observance of Read Africa week during the first week of February, Black History Month, is advocated by Africa Access. Africa Access vets the suggested books the festival encourages participants to read, holds the annual Children’s African Book Awards, and the annual Children Books Awards Festival at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in April in Washington, DC.
Read Africa Week Festival at Francis Gregory Library is co-sponsored by the Francis Gregory Library, Friends of the Francis Gregory Library, and the Port Of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership. The Festival is Saturday, February 2, 2019, 11a – 3p. The event is free.

The vetted books are “more accurate, more balanced,” added Brenda Randolph, Director of Africa Access. Africa Access vets books to make sure they don’t promote “enduring stereotypes,” said Dr. Mbye Cham, a Gambian native and Director of the Center of Africana Studies at Howard University.

The event is free, but festival organizers encourage you to make reservations via Eventbrite. The Festival will admit only Eventbrite ticket holders until 10:45a. At 10:45a, The Festival will begin admitting all participants on a first-come, first-serve basis. We must limit the first two of three activities to twenty young adults. Adults must accompany children 10 and under at all times.

 
 
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