15th Annual African-American Celebration
On February 16, 2013 at 3:00pm, join the City of Cary at its 16th Annual African-American Celebration at the Cary Arts Center, located at 101 Dry Avenue. This is an annual observance celebrating the past and present achievements of African-Americans.
Bring the entire family out to experience the soulful and energizing sounds of “dub Addis.” These talented performing artists combine intricate Ethiopian melodies with the rhythms of Reggae to create an original sound that moves both the heart and mind. Continuing the rich traditions of Ethiopian music and the legacy of the great Reggae artists, the music of dub Addis unites people of all backgrounds in a celebration of life. For over a decade dub Addis has shared their passion with their audiences. They have shared the stage with Huge Masekela, The Wailers, Steel Pulse, Arrested Development, and many others.
"We believe in the power of music to overcome differences and unite people of all backgrounds, and that the connections forged by music can lead us to greater harmony and understanding. Paramount is our love for the music and the experience of sharing creativity and ideas with each other as musicians and with everyone for whom we perform," dud Addis share when asked what the driving force behind their movement is.
The La'Ney West African Dance & Percussion will be present and counted for on February 16, 2013, bringing with them a contagious energy that stems from a place that that understand the power in movement and sound. Musical Director, Adama Dembele, is a master djembéfola (djembe player) from Ivory Coast, West Africa. Born into a family of musicians, he has toured several continents with various major acts such Oumou Sangare, Salif Keita, Affou Keita, Sogona Djata and many others. Adama has played in several drum and dance companies such as Yelemba d'abidjan, Ensemble Koteba, Congoba and many more. In 2002, in collaboration with Siriki Sanogo, Adama founded Djembeso CI Drum and Dance Ensemble. "Djembeso" in the West African dialect Bambará means "the house of djembe". Adama chose that name because his family has been playing the djembe for 33 generations and his native home was known as the house where the djembe is played. In 2005 Adama moved to the US to perform and teach the sacred art of West African drumming. Since then he has played in major cities all over America. Currently, Adama resides in Asheville, NC where he frequently performs and teaches authentic rhythms from Ivory Coast, Mali, and Guinea, West Africa. Artistic Director, Nadirah Rahman, is the full time Dance Educator at Erwin HS. She has a BS degree in Dance from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a Professional Teaching License for Dance K-12. Nadirah has danced professionally with several companies including internationally renowned Chuck Davis & the African American Dance Ensemble. As a 2006 recipient of the Regional Artist Professional Development Grant, Nadirah has traveled to Guinea and studied under Master dancer Marie Bangoura of The National Ballet Company of Guinea. Nadirah has since continued her studies in West Africa under extraordinary dancers from Ballet Djoliba, Mervaille, & Fareta de Guinea.
Poetess Robin Mills, the founder of Breathe to Think, an open forum from which performing and visual artists display will share poetry meant to stimulate the thought processes of all who receive her. Mills is a champion of the arts in North Carolina. She is the founder of the Visual Artists Realm, an organization that provides opportunities for emerging visual artists to display their work. Mills represents a host of talented, self taught emerging visual artists. Robin Mills is the founder of the Platform, an organization that features some of the area’s most talented performing artists from poets to musicians to vocalists. Mills handpicks specific artists to develop and teach the business side of their craft. “I understand, as an artist myself, how difficult it can be to find a venue to promote my craft and how easy it can be to get caught up in the act of creating to the point where as artist we overlook the business of art. It is crucial to understand the connection between to two and have the capability to marry the two concepts if an artist is to be successful, in that they are able to sustain themselves doing what it is that they love. Rather than continue knocking on doors that in many cases went unanswered, I built a door of my own. Art is the universal language and is relative to the viewer and/or listener. It is a means to bridge gaps and share perspectives on all levels. It is my pleasure to provide an outlet that allows the artist to be able to promote their craft and build an audience in an effort to do what it is that feel they were born to do for a living. It is my opinion that the Industry is saturated with artists who create for the wrong reasons. It is necessary now more than ever to understand our purpose as artists and be able to convey a message in our craft that leaves a trail for others to follow. My purpose is to be a facilitator of that process and I wear that hat proudly,” said Mills when asked what fuels her desire to promote and support art.
History of “Negro History Week”:
In February 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, proposed the establishment of "Negro History Week" to honor the history and contributions of African Americans to American life. Dr. Woodson, known as the "Father of Black History", chose the second week of February because it commemorates the birthdays of two men who greatly affected the African American community: Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). Negro History Week became Black History Week in the early 1970's. In 1976, the week-long observance was expanded to a month in honor of the nation's bicenten
About the Cary Arts Center:
Built in 1938, it served as Cary High School until 1960 and then Cary Elementary for nearly 40 years. After the elementary school moved into a new building in 1998, the town of Cary bought the old building and has spent the last decade planning its transformation. Now that the 48,000-square-