THANK YOU to everyone who braved “Stormaggedon” and joined Rainier Arts Center to celebrate Pan Africa, Pan Arts. THANK YOU to the artists and performers who would not let a storm stop them from taking the stage and sharing their passion, their art, and their spirit.
And special thanks to the partners and sponsors who helped make Arts Gumbo possible:
All photos were taken by Aguero Photo, Inc.
What better way to build cultural understanding between people of diverse backgrounds than through sharing art, food and celebration? That is the goal of our Arts Gumbo series, now in its 15th year.
ARTS GUMBO BOOK CHATS, hosted by Columbia Library, will feature three
(3) books on the African immigrant experience: All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu (Ethiopia), We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria).
SPECIAL PRESENTATION of a new documentary, MADARAKA: A story about self-empowerment, entrepreneurship and sustainability. Madaraka explores the systemic issues affecting Africa, how the overuse of aid and negative international media is hurting the continent, what’s of true importance to the future of Africans globally, and how changing a mindset can expand a culture. Madaraka explores the work and impact One Vibe Africa has had in their local community of Kisumu and other countries throughout the continent. Madaraka characters range from community leaders, musicians, artists, politicians, activists and more. Madaraka is the embodiment of liberation, self-consciousness, education, and self-reliance through creative collaboration.
* Filmmakers Simon Javan Okelo and Wael “L” Abou-Zaki will be in attendance and participate in a Q&A following the special presentation of MADARAKA.
DIFRET – The award-winning drama DIFRET is based on the inspirational true story of a young Ethiopian girl and a tenacious lawyer embroiled in a life-or-death clash between cultural traditions and their country’s advancement of equal rights. When 14-year-old Hirut is abducted in her rural village’s tradition of kidnapping women for marriage, she fights back, accidentally killing her captor and intended husband. Local law demands a death sentence for Hirut, but Meaza, a tough and passionate lawyer from a women’s legal aide practice, steps in to fight for her. With both Hirut’s life and the future of the practice at stake the two women must make their case for self-defense against one of Ethiopia’s oldest and most deeply-rooted traditions. DIFRET paints a portrait of a country in a time of great transformation and the brave individuals ready to help shape it.
Photos from Arts Gumbo 2015