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children’s activities, performances, Artisan Marketplace and more SATURDAY,
DECEMBER 17, 2022, 10AM – 10PM
Thousands are expected to gather on the campus of
Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on December 17 as
the venue’s annualKwanzaa Family Festival returns
as an in-person celebration. The festival has been held at NJPAC for
more than a decade, and activates the Arts Center’s entire campus
during one of its busiest holiday weekends.
“We are so excited to welcome our whole community back to this
so-much-loved celebration, one of the longest-running Arts Center
traditions,” said Eyesha
Marable, NJPAC’s Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement.
“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to over the past two
years. Virtual events are great, but there’s nothing like seeing this
whole building filled with families, children and elders enjoying the
performances will be held every hour in the Arts
Center’s Prudential Hall Lobby from 10AM to 10PM. Free family activities including dance and drumming
classes, face painting, storytelling, child-friendly arts and crafts
workshops, plus a coat and toy give-away for the children of the
community, will be held throughout NJPAC’s
indoor campus from 10AM
to 2PM. Each event and activity embodies one of the
seven principles of Kwanzaa, a holiday dedicated to celebrating African American culture and community.
candle-lighting ceremonyand a Vibunzi—
a tradition of honoring young people with an ear of corn (or in this
case, a slice of cornbread) to represent the hope for the future they
bring — will be a highlight of the day's celebration.
In addition, the Arts Center’s annual Kwanzaa Artisan Marketplace featuring
local crafters, artists and merchants, will fill both
the Prudential Lobby and the hallways outside Prudential Hall’s First
and Second tier entrances all weekend.
The Marketplace will be open throughout the festival and during
Saturday’s two performances of NJPAC’s own genre-blending holiday
production, The Hip Hop
Nutcracker. The Marketplace will also be open
December 16, from 7 to 11PM, before and after a
performance by Cuban salsa
stars Willy Chirino and Leoni Torres, and
December 18, from 2 to 6PM, before and after The
State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine’s performance of the traditional
holiday ballet, The
The Festival is made possible by a generous endowment gift
and Toby Cooperman. The Festival is also
sponsored by ADP and Whole Foods. Whole
Foods will also provide water, cornbread, and fruits and vegetables
for the Vibunzi.
first time, the Kwanzaa Festival is presented in collaboration with a
collective of the city’s other anchor cultural institutions including
the Newark Museum of Art, Newark Arts, Newark Symphony Hall, and the
Newark Public Library, as well as in partnership with the City of
Registration for the Family Festival opens at 9AM in person, and
activities continue from 10AM to 2PM; see below for the full
schedule. Families can also register in advance on NJPAC’s website or through this registration form.
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by activist and author Maulana Karenga to
offer people of African heritage a holiday that would celebrate their
culture. Kwanzaa encompasses seven days dedicated to seven
principles, also known as the Nguzo
Saba. The Kwanzaa principles are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia(Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective
Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative
Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity),
and Imani (Faith).
Each activity or event at NJPAC’s Kwanzaa Festival embodies one of
the seven principles.
FREE KWANZAA FESTIVAL EVENTS
CLASSES SOUL STEPS
WITH MAXINE LYLE Sat. Dec 17,
Experience the dynamic rhythms of the rich African American cultural
tradition known as step in this beginner workshop. Participants will
use their bodies to create hip-hop-infused rhythms through
WITH CONTRAMESTRA AMAZONAS SAT. DEC
Learn the elegant Afro-Brazilian art form called capoeira —
a blend of dance, music, and martial arts.
WITH ANTHONY "SOLO" HARRIS Sat. Dec 17,
11 AM – 11:45 AM
Master the modern dance known as Jersey Club, a raw, energetic dance
style that evolved in the clubs of Newark.
SMILING DAVID’s DANCE SCHOOL Sat. Dec 17,
11 AM – 11:45 AM
Learn graceful moves of salsa, the beloved Afro-Caribbean dance form
that emerged from Cuba.
AFRICAN WITH KAREN LOVE Sat. Dec 17,
Explore the rhythms of West African dance with Karen Love, founder
and artistic director of the Umoja Dance Company, the Usaama Dance
Company and the Umoja Dance Studio.
WITH ADEOLA FASHINA SAT. DEC
Dive into Afrobeat — a dance form with steps infused with traditional
West African, hip hop, jazz, funk and dancehall moves.
SHARE Sat. Dec 17,
1 PM – 2 PM
At the Kwanzaa
Festival Show and Share, all dance class participants can
demonstrate their newly learned skills alongside performers from the
Umoja Dance Company, Jersey Club Performers, Brooklyn United Marching
Band and Our Girls of Hope Step Team.
MARKETPLACE SAT. DEC 17,
More than 20 merchants and crafters will offer a variety of
one-of-a-kind items including custom and cultural clothing, handmade
jewelry, unique hats, bath and body products, candles, books, art,
THE PRUDENTIAL LOBBY SAT. DEC 17,
Local musicians, dancers, and artists will share live performances in
the Prudential Hall Lobby. Performers will include SMILING DAVID'S
DANCE SCHOOL; COLUMBIA HIGH SCHOOL STEP TEAM; NEW JERSEY KIDS FASHION
WEEK; BROOKLYN UNITED MARCHING BAND; NAJAH RIKER, NEWARK SYMPHONY
HALL; DEW MINISTRIES; DR. AKIL KHALFANI; WEST ORANGE HIGH SCHOOL
CRAFT ACTIVITIES FACE
PAINTING WITH BERT PINNOCK, DEBBIE KIRKLAND AND MORE SAT. DEC 17,
STORY & CREATIVE ACTIVITY WITH ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY,
INC. SAT. DEC 17,
The members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Alpha Omega
Chapter will present an enactment of the story Seven Spools of
Thread by Angela Shelf Medearis and lead participants
in crafting a woven belt.
CRAFTS WITH DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. Sat. Dec
The members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., North Jersey Alumnae
Chapter will offer a variety of arts and crafts activities suitable
STAMPING WITH THE NEWARK MUSEUM OF ART SAT. DEC 17,
Children and families can learn about the history of traditional
Adinkra cloth. Newark Museum of Art representatives will help
participants use block prints to make their own patterned cloth.
& CRAFTS PRESENTED BY GLASSROOTS, KASSANDRA PANTOJA, M8E ART
STUDIO, EYES LIKE MINE, CASSANDRA GEORGE, CITY OF NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
KIDS FASHION WEEK, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY-NEWARK, LA CASA DE DON PEDRO,
CLINTON HILL COMMUNITY ACTION, WEEQUAHIC RECREATION, ESSEX COUNTY
TURTLE BACK ZOO AND MORE. SAT. DEC
Our engaged partners will facilitate a range of arts and crafts
activities including mask-making with local artist Cassandra George;
a community mosaic art project facilitated by Glassroots; and a
textile art project with Kassandra Pantoja, in which fabrics will be
used to create a whimsical depiction of a woman’s face.
WITH NEWARK PUBLIC LIBRARY SAT. DEC 17,
WITH STEPHAN LITZEY SAT. DEC 17,
Learn how to play different drumming patterns using techniques that
produce rich and uplifting rhythms.
ACTIVITIES FAMILY PANEL
DISCUSSION: NEIGHBORHOOD VS. COMMUNITY WITH SHANELL DUNNS SAT. DEC
17, 10:15AM-12:45PM, 12:15PM-12:45PM
Shanell Dunns, founder and CEO of Roots and Bridges, will have two
45-minute sessions of empowering conversations on education, politics
and health and how socioeconomic factors impact all these topics.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, which have reached almost 2 million children, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 10 million visitors since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. NJPAC.org @njpac