The Dr. Walter J. Leonard Black Arts Festival (BAF) is a celebration of the artistic tradition of the African and African American diaspora. It is hosted by the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College and named for one of the group’s most influential, supportive founding figures, Dr. Walter J. Leonard. Past festivals have showcased various art forms including, but not limited to: dance, spoken word, visual artwork, film, song, theater, and graphic media.
This Black History Month, BAF celebrates its 15th year with the theme Voices. Voices will focus on how our creativity or our art—visual, vocal, and all other forms—provides us the voice to communicate things that we could not communicate otherwise. Specifically, this year’s BAF theme will commemorate the way that the Black community has historically used art as an effective and emotive way of communicating. Popular movements like blues, jazz, hip-hop, or the Harlem Renaissance have worked as avenues of voice for Black people in the past.
Our events this year will celebrate Black History Month by honoring iconic figures like Etta James or James Brown, while at the same time celebrating the future of such artistic expression. In our hallmark event, a performance arts showcase, acts will perform in tribute of popular voices in Black Arts. This and many other events will together contribute to a weekend-long homage to the voices in Black Art that have made spaces like Kuumba possible.
Please join us in celebrating the voice we have been given by Black Arts on the weekend of February 15- 17, 2013. Further details of the weekend’s events can be found here on the website!
For more information about BAF, email BAF@kuumbasingers.org.
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