MIAMI - To commemorate its 40th anniversary, African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) is presenting “Sankofa: Looking Back, Going Forward.” Sankofa is a year-long series of events, performances, and educational workshops, recognizing and celebrating the talented performers, instructors and community leaders who have grown up in and contributed so importantly to the development and creativity of young people in the inner city.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, has awarded AHCAC a generous grant in support of Sankofa (from the Akan language of Ghana meaning "Looking Back, Going Foward") to honor the past and celebrate the present by reconnecting established artists with the AHCAC that fueled and fomented their training and careers. “The Center has produced a wealth of phenomenal talent and we’re excited to have our alumni engage and inspire the next generation,” said Marshall Davis, Managing Director of AHCAC.
The Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge aims to bring South Florida together through the arts. "The cities that are the most vibrant are those where every person considers themselves a creative being,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation. “With Sankofa, some of our community’s most accomplished artists will help show the way for our youth.”
“For four decades, the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center has served as a nucleus of arts learning, training and access for children in Liberty City; now, thanks to the Knight Arts Challenge award, our renowned alumni are returning to encourage those following in their footsteps to become the brilliant artists of tomorrow,” said Michael Spring, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.
Upcoming Sankofa event highlights include:
· The Sankofa Gala, April 25, 2015: the opening celebration of the 40thanniversary year, coordinated in conjunction with Black History Month, celebrating 40 years of artistic service to the community and recognizing outstanding leaders who have been integral to the AHCAC’s success.
· The Amadlozi Gallery Exhibitions, (January 23 – March 2015): a guest-curated series of exhibitions and scholarly presentations featuring local, national, and alumni artists.
· Jazz Spring Fest, May 9, 2015: a live music event featuring luminary teachers and alumni Melton Mustafa, Shareef Clayton, and Willerm Delisfort, among others, including pre-Jam workshops with the artists for local musicians and community.