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Kuumba Arts Festival 12.05.2020

Kuumba Arts Festival

Saturday, December 5, 2020 | Time: 7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Flashback 1970

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To join via audio only, Please dial: 1-929-436-2866; Meeting ID: 880 1665 9520
Registration Required

Cleveland State University’s Black Studies Program and Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center will present the 2020 Kuumba Arts Festival, on Saturday, December 5 at 6:00 PM as a virtual presentation.

This year’s festival, Flashback 1970, is directed by Prester Pickett, M.F.A., coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center and corresponds with the 50-year anniversary of the establishment of an Afro-American Cultural Center at CSU. Virtual performances will highlight music, poetry, drama, and dance from the 1970s with students, faculty, staff, and performers from the Greater Cleveland community.

During this year’s festival, Dr. Mary E. Weems will be honored with the Bill “Silver B” Richards “Edutainment” Award.  The interest of combining Education with Entertainment will also be lifted with inspiring commentaries from CSU scholars including Dr. Adrienne Gosselin, Associate Professor of English; and Dr. Lisa Bernd, Associate Professor of Theater and Dance.  Additionally, Instructor John Ban of the Film and Media Arts School will be engaging his students with various production elements associated with the festival.

Another featured award-winning poet on the program is Mwatabu Okantah, a former director of the CSU African American Cultural Center. Okantah is a celebrated author of several books of poems, motivational speaker, organizer of international travel experiences, and lecturer as well as an Associate Professor of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University, where he’s serving as an Assistant Chair for the Department.  His legacy of Spoken Word traditions inspired the next generation of poets to utilize the African American Cultural Center at CSU to develop their skills in expressing themselves through poetry and establishing student organizations like Speak Up.

The Kuumba Arts Festival will be hosted by Douglas Hoston, better known as “Sage the Wise Cat,” one of the founding members of the Black Poetic Society.  The connection of generations of poets will be made with Anthony “The Boogieman” Rucker, while the event will unite other CSU alumni like Lisa Hunt, Kwanza Brewer, Jeannine Gaskin, and Sheldon Glave through other performance art traditions and engagements with current CSU students.  

The music of Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Melba Moore, Johnnie Taylor, the Jackson 5, and Sly & The Family Stone will be highlighted through reflections of American Band Stand and the Soul Train with talent including Rob C, Andrea Coleman, Bertha Lee Pickett, and SweetEven.  Theatrical flashbacks of the 1970 Tony Award-winning Purlie will also celebrate the legendary Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.  

Registration for the event is required at:  For more information visit: