Today’s Youth; Tomorrow’s Legacy is the central theme of the 2015 Savannah Black Heritage Festival scheduled for February 1 – 21. Each year the festival, which is sponsored by Savannah State University (SSU) and the City of Savannah, presents activities for every age and interest. Cultural education and exposure to the performing and visual arts, as well as ethnic cuisine, crafts, fun and family are emphasized throughout the celebration. Great music of every genre, dance performances, national and regional recording artists, local youth talent showcases, historic tours, visual art exhibitions by internationally acclaimed and local artists and sculptors, the W.W. Law Lecture Series, spoken word and dramatic productions are all included on the schedule. In addition, educational opportunities are provided through a health and wellness fair, culinary arts activities and youth programs.
The festival will open on Sunday, February 1, with a visual arts exhibition at the Beach Institute African American Cultural Center, featuring works by Peggy Blood, professor of fine arts at SSU. The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble of Denver, Colo., returns as the featured dance group for the 26th annual festival. Prior to an evening public performance on February 3, the ensemble will engage the community with a public conversation on Monday, February 2, highlighting African American cultural and historical influences upon choreographing a dance repertoire. In addition, the ensemble will conduct a community dance workshop for dancers ages 12 and above. During a second tour in Savannah, Bright Star Children’s Touring Theatre of Asheville, N.C., will present multiple public performances of their productions of Rosa Parks and Forgotten Friends and Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History. Also on the schedule is a performance from the Spelman College Women’s Jazz Ensemble at the festival’s second tribute to the late Ben Tucker on February 20. The festival will close on February 21 with Miss Anderson’s Songs: The Life and Music of Marian Anderson, a production from the National Portrait Gallery’s Culture in Motion Series.
Grand Festival Day, a favorite family-fun event packed with activities and top entertainment, will be held at the Savannah Civic Center on Saturday, February 7, followed on Sunday, February 8, with the annual gospel concert featuring top-name artists.
The 2015 festival will be the 16th one produced by Savannah State University and the 26th sponsored by the City of Savannah. All festival events and activities are free of admission and open to the public. For more information, call (912) 358- 4309, or visit www.savannahblackheritagefestival.com for updates.