The rich tapestry of African-American arts and culture will be on display this weekend in neighborhoods throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg during ASC’s fourth annual “Connect with Culture Day.”
More than 60 free cultural experiences will take place at libraries and other community facilities, including free admission to museums, galleries, historic sites, environmental education facilities, and hands-on art projects, dance, music, theater, and more.
Kick off the weekend with Drums4Life at Resident Culture Brewing or Nicci Canada & The Dapper Street Jazz Band at Lenny Boy Brewing Company on Friday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. On Saturday, enjoy a range of events suitable for all ages, including:
SHAE Movement African Arts presents Cardio & Culture: Participants will learn a traditional West African rhythm and dance from the SuSu people of Guinea, West Africa. 12–12:45 p.m., Camino Community Center, 201 Stetson Drive
African Dance Class by Charlotte Ballet: Javonne Spearman, originally from Liberia West Africa, will take dancers through movements based on traditional dance. 11:00 a.m.–noon, Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center, 2921 Tuckaseegee Road
AfroFunk: This musical experience, featuring the area’s funkiest DJs and A Sign of the Times band, uses old-school funk and hip-hop in a rhythmic “conversation.” 1-2:30 p.m., Camp North End, 1824 Statesville Ave.
JAZZ IS… by Jazz Arts Initiative: This session allows a peek into the world of jazz performance and improvisation. 11 a.m.-noon, First Baptist Church-West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave.
The Healing Force presented by Tosco Music: A lively celebration of African culture and spirit with booming drums, rattling gourds (shekeres), thumb pianos, folk tales, and traditional songs. 11 a.m.-noon, Pineville Elementary School gym, 204 Lowry St.
El Ritmo! The Afro Cuban Jazz Experience presented by Dapper Street Productions: Enjoy a live music and educational experience with special guest Orlando Fiol & Friends. 1-2 p.m., Nations Ford Road Elementary School, 7050 Nations Ford Road
African Drum Circle presented by Drums 4 Life: Experience the spontaneous creation of music on a variety of drums and percussion instruments. 2:30-3:30 p.m., Nations Ford Road Elementary School, 7050 Nations Ford Road
Quentin Talley and The Soul Providers present a journey through the history of funk and soul music. 11 a.m.-noon, West Boulevard Library, 2157 West Boulevard
“Every Brilliant Thing” presented by Three Bone Theatre: An experience about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. 1-2 p.m., West Boulevard Library, 2157 West Boulevard
Resist & Persist by Bluz & Friends: Emmy-winning spoken-word poet Bluz (Boris Rogers) and other poets tell Charlotte’s history. 3:30-4:30 p.m., Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive
Nouveau Sud is a social circus initiative rooted in the “underground” dance/acrobatic/physical theatre scenes present in urban Charlotte. 1:30-2 p.m., Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive
Animals of the Subconscious – Mask Making presented by Harvey B. Gantt Center of African-American Arts + Culture: Local artist Dulce Tavares will lead an animal-themed mask-making workshop for the entire family. 10 a.m.-noon, Nations Ford Road Elementary School, 7050 Nations Ford Road. (The Gantt Center will be closed for the installation of new exhibits, which you can view for free on Feb. 3.)
Self-guided gallery tour at James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University. View works by photographer James G. Peeler who captured the lives of many black Charlotteans, the nationally acclaimed exhibit, “Courage: The Carolina Story that Changed America,” and more. 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m., James B. Duke Library, 100 Beatties Ford Road.
Plan to arrive early as space may be limited and ASC cannot guarantee availability. Some experiences require pre-registration.