21st Annual Dr. Walter J. Leonard Black Arts Festival

By

21st Annual Dr. Walter J. Leonard Black Arts Festival

“Envision: how we see ourselves, how we see the world, and how that affects what we can imagine for both”

By JILLY CRONIN

 

The 2019 Black Arts Festival titled “Envision: how we see ourselves, how we see the world, and how that affects what we can imagine for both” will host its two final events of the week today and tomorrow. Today’s event, “Drag as Black Imaginary Space” will be from 5:30 to 7:30 PM in the PBHA Parlor Room. This event will bring in Boston-based drag queens and a Harvard professor of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality for a discussion about identity, performance, and self-aestheticization.

The event tomorrow is a Capoeira Workshop taking place in the Currier Dance Studio from 11 AM to 1 PM. Kuumba has already hosted three events for BAF 2019, including discussions with professors and guest speakers, a writer’s workshop, and an open mic night “celebrating the voices, stories, and experiences of Black women and femmes!”

This year’s festival marks the 21st annual Black Arts Festival hosted by the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College. The Black Arts Festival was founded by Philip Atiba Goff ’99 in in 1998. Goff is now the Franklin A. Thomas Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Regarding the purpose of the BAF, Goff believes that it serves to “remind our artists of their points of origin and to share those origins with our audience.” This year’s festival co-chairs, Antonia Scott ‘20 and Gabrielle Preston ‘20, concur, writing on the BAF 2019 website that “BAF 2019 seeks to celebrate the artists, activists, and organizers that inspire us to see ourselves more clearly, imagine radical alternatives, and change our possibilities for the future.”

Jilly Cronin ’21 ([email protected]) writes news for the Indy.