|June 13, 2013 - African American Appalachian Arts, Inc. (AAAA) and area sponsors are delighted to present one of Knoxville's most anticipated events, the 24th Anniversary KUUMBA Festival, June 20 - 23, 2013 at four (4) locations throughout Knoxville including Krutch Park, Downtown and Market Square, Haley Heritage Square and Chilhowee Park.
KUUMBA (Ki-swahili for "creative") Festival is a multi-event celebration with more than 200 entertainers performing on two stages, demonstrations, and service by more than 100 crafts' people and food vendors.
The Kuumba Festival for 24 years has served as a creative and effective vehicle to showcase the positive impact of diversity in East Tennessee,” said Nkechi Ajanaku, Executive Director of the African American Appalachian Arts, Inc. “We welcome and encourage everyone to attend this four day celebration of culture, arts & entertainment!"
The four day festival will feature highlight events including a Kick-Off Luncheon at Krutch Park featuring Ekpe Abioto, world Renowned Artist, Percussionist, Master Storyteller and Drummer. Attendees will enjoy his exciting rhythms and his soulful and melodic presentation on instruments from Africa and around the world. During the luncheon, Abioto will also premier the I Am a Genius Choir.
On Thursday evening, Haley Heritage Square will be filled with Kuumba Kamp participants celebrating the “Seeding the Garden in the Mind” Graduation and Rites of Passage Ceremony. The event will welcome Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, Author, Documentary Filmmaker, and Theologian. Sekou currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Spare Change News, the nation’s oldest continuous homeless street newspaper.
Continuing on Friday, June 21, the Junkanu, a traditional parade, starting on Cumberland Avenue and Market Square in downtown Knoxville will feature festival participants, the original Free Spirit Stilt Walkers, Kuumba Watoto Dance and Drum Company, churches, and community groups starting at 6:00 p.m. Following the parade, attendees can enjoy the African Market Place on Market Square with traditional crafts, clothing, and foods, and a live concert featuring raggae band EVER-G & The Crew.
On Saturday and Sunday, the public can enjoy a variety of activities at Chilhowee Park including an African Market Place with traditional crafts, clothing and foods. There will also be a World Children’s Village and two entertainment stages, among other activities throughout the two days.
Kuumba Festival attendees will be treated to the soulful sounds of American R&B pop and gospel singer Ruben Studdard. The season 2 winner of American Idol has since released five studio albums and will be performing some of his most well-known songs during the Saturday night concert. Grammy nominated songwriter, producer, and artist Alvin Garrett will also be performing.
Schedule includes the following:
Thursday, June 20 - Krutch Park & Haley Heritage Square
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Opening Luncheon featuring Ekpe Abioto and the “I am a Genius” Children’s Choir, a Kuumba Watoto Dance and Drumline performance, Shaka Zulu Connection Stilt Walkers performance, and musical guests Kelle Jolly and The Soul Sax Trio
6:00 p.m. Kuumba Kamp Graduation presentation at Haley Heritage Square featuring Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou
Friday, June 21 - Downtown Knoxville & Market Square
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Youth Arts Extravaganza
6:00 p.m. JUNKANU (Parade) beginning on Cumberland and Market Street to Market Square featuring festival participants, the original Free Spirit Stilt Walkers, Kuumba Watoto Dance and Drum Line, churches, and community groups who strut, drum, and dance
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. African Market Place on Market Square with traditional crafts, clothing, and foods
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Musical Performance by raggae band EVER-G & The Crew
Saturday, June 22 - Chilhowee Park
11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. African Market Place, World Children's Village and entertainment
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. First Kuumbathon at the Health & Wellness Area featuring a fusion of dance and drum workouts with Sister Zock
2:00 - 6:00 p.m. Youth Talent and Pep Rally Stage
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Kuumba Watoto Dance and Drum Company and the original Free Spirit Stilt Walkers
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Musical Performance by American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard and Grammy Nominated Artist Alvin Garrett
Sunday, June 23 - Chilhowee Park
12:00 - 9:00 p.m. African Market Place, World Children's Village and entertainment
3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Gospel in the Park
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Kuumba Watoto Dance and Drum Company and the original Free Spirit Stilt Walkers
7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Concerts TBAowee Park
For more information please visit www.kuumbafestival.com.