By Daily World Staff
Centered in downtown Atlanta, the National Black Arts Festival is a popular event for all ages to enjoy. There are a number of acquaintances and events to see as the popular event gets into full swing this week and throughout the weekend, through Sunday, July 17.
A black-tie gala kicks off Saturday evening at the Buckhead Ritz Carlton, with a number of art exhibits and shows that include the O’Jays in concert in Symphony Hall on Friday at 8 p.m. The Symphony Orchestra plays its annual festival closing concert at Ebenezer Baptist Church July 17, at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
Chuck Davis, creator of African Dance celebrations in New York, Washington and Chicago, launches Dance Africa Atlanta! Saturday at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Rialto Center for the Arts. The concert features South African contemporary dancer-choreographer Vincent Mantsoe; the Lesoles Dance Project; Atlanta’s Giwayen Mata dance troupe; and master kora player and griot Diali Keba Cissokho.
“Interpretations: Black Visual Art – Past, Present and Future” pays tribute to five master artists, including Elizabeth Catlett, Thornton Dial and David Driskell and celebrates the centennial of Romare Bearden’s birth, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 14.
Also, the International Marketplace at Centennial Park, opens July 14 with over 100 vendors and artists featuring carved wood sculptures, handmade jewelry, clothing, incense and much more. It runs through Sunday and is free.
A musical menu covers gospel, the blues, jazz and more that starts on the main stage (Centennial Park) Friday, 5- 9 p.m.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, and noon-8 p.m. on Sunday. This too is free and open to the public.
The Children’s Education Village for ages 5-12, features a handsome African Village and a family stage on Saturday and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. The village is free.
Atlanta photographer Sue Ross features “Sankofa, Looking Black to Move Forward” on Friday, 6 p.m. at the Rialto Center, and explores the evolution of the NBAF from 1988 to 2010. Ross’ exhibit runs through August 26. Also, an exhibit featuring Trenton Doyle Hancock’s work, “We Done All We Could and None of It’s Good,” will appear at the NBAF through August 28, at the Woodruff Arts Center.
There are a number of other exhibits and opening receptions throughout the city, including the Carter Presidential Library and Museum, the High Museum of Arts and the Hammond House, where “Equal Rites: The Art of Michael D. Harris,” opened Sunday and runs through Sept. 11. This exhibit examines 15 years of the Atlanta artist’s exploration of social and historical roots within the African Diaspora. The Hammond House is located at 503 Peeples Street.
There are a number of Pan African films that will appear at the Ga. State Rialto Center for the Arts, 2:30 – 9 p.m. Thursday. For more information and tickets visit www.nbaf.org.