Return to Previous Page

September 14th, 2004
Museum Presents Array of Public Events and Programs to Accompany African Art, African Voices

In conjunction with the special exhibition African Art, African Voices, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a stimulating series of programs and events including an art history course, an outdoor marketplace produced in collaboration with ODUNDE, an African film series conducted in partnership with International House, a display of traditional and contemporary African fashions, Friday Evening performances, and four weekend family programs that incorporate dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations and music from four different regions of Africa (Oct. 2-3, Oct. 24, Nov. 14, Dec. 12).

Thursday, September 30, 2004, 6-9 p.m.
The Museum will open African Art, African Voices with a gala evening celebration including official inaugural ceremonies conducted by community leaders and visiting diplomats. Guests dressed in black-tie or traditional African attire will enjoy a spectacular performance of Yoruba music and dance by the renowned Nigerian masquerade group AyanAgalu. The public is invited to attend on a subscription basis. For information or to receive an invitation call (215) 684-7720 or email

AFRICAN MARKETPLACE Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, 2004 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The East Terrace of the Museum will be transformed into an outdoor African marketplace, with live entertainment and handcrafted wares by nearly 40 African and African-American vendors displayed and available for purchase. The marketplace will be presented in collaboration with the producers of ODUNDE, one of the oldest African- American street festivals celebrating Nigerian New Year and Yoruba culture, held annually in Philadelphia.

Celebrate Africa! The Museum’s award-winning Education Department will offer four free Family Events in conjunction with the exhibition, African Art, African Voices. Each event is thematically planed to celebrate a different region of Africa. The events will include local and nationally recognized performance groups, craft demonstrations by African artists, and hands-on workshops. Performance times are 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Make and Take Workshops are held at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Craft demonstrations are held at 11 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, 2004
Celebrate: Coastal West Africa

On Saturday, a Yoruba dance colloquium will be held from 2-5 p.m. in the Van Pelt Auditorium. In addition to a demonstration of an Egungun masquerade, Rowland Abiodun, professor and Chair of the Art History and Black Studies departments at Amherst College, will mediate a discussion of the music, costumes and dance of the Yoruba culture.

On Sunday, AyanAgalu will perform Yoruba "power masquerades," which combine dance, acrobatics, music and popular theater. AyanAgalu ("May the god of drumming carry one aloft") is part of an extended family of Yoruba acrobatic dancers, masqueraders, traditional drummers and praise singers originating from Erin Osun, a small town in southwest Nigeria. They are responsible for encouraging Egungun (ancestral) sprits to visit earth in the form of masquerades. Lamidi Ayakule, who coordinates the AyanAgalu family’s performances, is a masterful Bata drummer with an international reputation for this traditional knowledge that is derived from 13 houses of drummers from his lineage and his drumming prowess.

Sunday, October 24, 2004
Celebrate: Manding Empire

Learn about the music of Mali and the Manding Empire while listening to the sounds of the kora, the venerable 12-string harp. Malian kora musician Mamadou Diabate is a member of the Mandinka West African jeli (musician caste) family. His musical lineage goes back seven centuries to the time of Sunjata Keita, the conqueror of the Malian empire. He is one of a handful remaining kora players that are keeping alive the kora tradition. Also, Robbi Kumalo and Ensemble present The Turtle’s Shell celebrating the rich oral traditions of Africa at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 14, 2004
Celebrate: Southern Africa

Born in Storomo and raised in Mamelodi ya Tshwane, South Africa, Mogauwane Mahloele uses instruments he crafts himself in the centuries-old traditions of his musical clan, the Ba-Pedi of South Africa. He is accomplished in both the crafting and playing of African drums, stolotolo (mouth harp), dipela (kalimba), naka, flute, sekere, kora and makhoyane (bowed instrument with gourd resonator). His performance includes explanations of these traditional musical instruments and their use in contemporary African music. The African American group Kulu Mele, which means "voice of our ancestors" will also perform exciting dances and drum beats at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 12, 2004
Celebrate: Central and East Africa

Dance in your seats to the lively music of the Congolese band Soukous Stars. The sounds of the Congo will come alive with a medley of songs like "Lagos Nights" and "Ghana Success." At 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble will showcase dancers, drummers, acrobats, and stilt walkers in their presentation of "The Beauty of African Culture."

African Voices
Sundays, October 10, November 7, and December 5

Inspired by the exhibition, local storytellers will share tales from Africa with visiting families. After the stories, families can visit African Art, African Voices.

Fridays, October 1, October 22, November 12, December 10
5:00-8:45 p.m.
Great Stair Hall
Free after Museum admission.

The Museum’s renowned Friday Evening jazz series will present a fusion of jazz and West African hand percussion.

October 1: Dave Burrell's African ensemble blends contemporary jazz piano with the intense rhythms of African drums.

October 22: Harry Butch Reed Trio, featuring vocalist Barbara D. Mills, shows that the African American tradition we call the blues is truly a musical phenomenon belonging to the African cultural world.

November 12: Experience an evening of traditional music and dance from the Western Coast of Africa. The Jaasu Ballet performs selected music of countries including Senegal and Mali along with traditional masquerade and stilt walking.

December 10: Dave Burrell's African ensemble blends contemporary jazz piano with the intense rhythms of African drums.

Fashions of Africa: Weaving Together the Past & the Present.
Friday, December 3, 2004, 7 p.m.

Great Stair Hall
Free after Museum admission.

In honor of the special exhibition African Art, African Voices, join members of Philadelphia’s African community as they present both traditional and contemporary fashions from all regions of Africa. The fashion show will feature ensembles from such countries as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Uganda, as well as contemporary clothes by designers active in the Philadelphia area.

Contemporary African Film

Sundays, Oct. 24, Nov. 7, Dec. 5, Dec. 19
2:30 p.m.
Van Pelt Auditorium
Free after Museum admission

Wednesday, Oct. 27; Tuesday, Nov. 23, Friday, Dec. 3; Wednesday, Dec. 22 7:00 p.m.
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
$6 adults; $5 students and seniors

The Museum will collaborate with International House, a leading venue in Philadelphia for cutting edge avant-garde cinema from around the world, to present a series of contemporary films from Africa.

Special Film Event
Wednesday, October 27 at 7 p.m.

International House presents the Philadelphia premiere of Moolaadé, directed by Ousmane Sembene, Senegal, 2004, 35mm, 120 mins, color, in French and Wolof w/ English subtitles. Introduced by Ousmane Sembene and followed by Q&A

Winner of the Un certain regard prize at this years Cannes Film Festival, Moolaadé is Sembene’s second film in a proposed trilogy on the changing role of women in modern African society. Shot in a country village built around one of West Africa's oldest mosques, where the women rise up against the male elders to protect several young girls who, according to the sacred ritual of purification, must undergo circumcision. The foremost figure in the evolution of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene remains, at eighty-one, its most provocative and fiercely independent spirit. Hailing from the former French colony of Senegal, Sembene established himself as one of Africa’s leading novelists before turning to cinema as a means of reaching a wider audience. His work often centers on identity problems encountered by Africans caught between Africa and Europe, tradition and modernization
Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors.

Imani Winds with Gilbert Kalish
Friday, October 22, 2004, 8 p.m.
$20 ($10 for Museum Members)

The Imani, a woodwind quintet described as "an ensemble of one voice and string expressive personalities" by the Philadelphia Inquirer after their PCMS debut last year, returns with renowned pianist Gilbert Kalish in a performance of the Poulenc Sextet and other works.

Opera Company of Philadelphia
Friday, December 17, 2004, 8 p.m.
$20 ($16 for Museum Members)

When soprano Angela Brown appeared with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in January 2004, Opera News hailed her as "a soprano to watch." Brown returns in February 2005 as the grandest of divas in the title role of Verdi's epic Aïda. Join her for an intimate evening of song at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she sings a program inspired by the exhibit African Art, African Voices. Along with mezzo-soprano Tracie Luck and accompanist Susan S. Ashbaker, Brown will perform a diverse selection of music, ranging from Aïda's arias to pieces from Gershwin's beloved Porgy and Bess, to traditional spirituals.

For tickets call (215) 235-SHOW (7469). There is a $2.50 (Members) or $3.00 (all others) handling charge for all series or single tickets on both phone and reservation form orders. Unreserved seating. Concert and performance ticket prices do not include Museum admission. (Members receive a 20% discount on all courses, workshops, and concerts.)

All art history courses are $80

African Art and Culture
Lecturer: Dwaune Latimer, Jean Friendly Keeper of African Art, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

This course provides an introduction to the arts and cultures of Africa. By examining and discussing the art in the exhibition, participants will learn to appreciate African artistic traditions within its specific historical and cultural contexts. At the completion of the short course, there will be an opportunity for participants to sign-up for a tour of the internationally renowned African Collection on permanent display and in storage at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

1. African Influence on Western Art
2. Art in Africa: Objects and Contexts
3. Textiles: Their Aesthetics, Usage and Symbolic Meaning
4. African Art: The Traditional & The Contemporary

Thursdays: 4 sessions, November 4, 11, 18 and December 2 1:30-2:30
Saturdays: 2 sessions, November 13 and December 4 1:30-3:45

The exhibition was organized by the Seattle Art Museum with generous funding provided by Washington Mutual. It is supported by generous grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts and The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and by the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Additional funding was provided by The Neubauer Family Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts/Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Promotional and media support was provided by The Philadelphia Tribune and NBC 10 WCAU. The audio tour will be made available to visitors without charge through the generosity of Target Corporation.

The performances and colloquium are supported by the Humanities-and-the-Arts initiative, administered by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and funded principally by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

Return to Previous Page