“Your Story, My Story, Our Stories” is the theme of the annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival scheduled for February 1-23, 2020. Cultural education and exposure to the performing and visual arts, as well as ethnic cuisine and crafts, are offered for all ages and interests throughout the celebration. The festival is presented by the city of Savannah and Savannah State University (SSU).
With the exception of Grand Festival Day, all festival events and activities are free of admission and open to the public. Highlights of the festival include:
Feb. 1 – The 78th National Freedom Day Observance begins at 11 a.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center. Richard R. Wright Sr., SSU’s first president, is con- sidered the architect of National Freedom Day, established to commemorate the signing of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States.
Feb. 2 – Opening reception for art exhibition featuring works by artists from the National Alliance of Artists from Historical Black Colleges and Universities opens at the Beach Institute African-American Cultural Center. The exhibit will be displayed until Feb. 29.
Feb. 4 – The Hiplet Ballerinas of Chicago, Illinois, the featured dance troupe for this year’s festival, will hold a premiere evening performance, 7:30 p.m., in the Savannah Civic Center’s Johnny Mercer Theater.
Feb. 8 – Grand Festival Day, a family-fun event packed with activities and top entertainment, will be held at the Savannah Civic Center. Included will be the Sankofa Traveling African-American Museum, arts and crafts, a concert and special performances. A $5, all-day admission bracelet will be required for all attendees age 18 or older.
Feb. 12-18 – The Bright Star Children’s Touring Theatre will return and present multiple performances of its new productions, some of which address the city’s strategic plans for poverty reduction and economic development. These performances and workshops are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts.
Feb. 14 – The Sons of Mystro, the young duo of classically trained violinists who use their instruments to interpret reggae, American pop, classics as well as their own compositions, return this year.
Feb. 18 – The 13th annual Future of Jazz legacy concert. The concert features young jazz instrumentalists and vocalists who are enrolled in music programs from middle school to graduate school. The concert will be the ninth performed in tribute to the late Ben Tucker.
The 2020 festival will be the 21st produced by Savannah State University and the 31st presented by the city of Savannah. For a complete schedule and event details, call 912-358-4309 or visit www.savannahblackheritagefestival.org.