Friday, September 26, 2008

Annual African American Art Fest: This Weekend

Even without money in your pocket, it's easy to enjoy MOJA. The annual African-American and Caribbean arts festival, which kicked off Wednesday and stretches through Oct. 5, will be serving up plenty of free entertainment.
"This year, we have more free events than we have paid," said program coordinator Elease Amos-Goodwin. "Everybody can't afford to buy expensive tickets and go to the theater, but we're still bringing art to them."
Amos-Goodwin and her staff of 40 volunteers are committed to sharing MOJA with the whole community.
Aside from orchestrating a long list of free events, the planning committee has given more than 1,500 free tickets to local students.
"We want to make sure kids are exposed to this," she explained.
In its 25th year, MOJA's schedule is bursting with a sprinkling of nationally known artists and plenty of local and regional flair.
Dr. Renard Harris, an education professor at the College of Charleston, will perform Oct. 2 at the Harbor Grille as part of the free MOJA Storytelling Series.
"I'll play harmonica and tell stories in a rhythmic, lyrical way," Harris said of his upcoming performance. "I call it storytelling blues because the chords and the words intertwine."
Harris says he's excited to share folk stories from the African-American perspective with the Charleston community. His craft is inspired by blues and history, with a focus on the culture of black Americans at the turn of the 20th century.

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