The Rainier Valley Cultural Center partners with Adefua Cultural Education Workshop to present the 23rd Annual Odunde Festival, an African harvest celebration for families, as part of its 2008 Arts Gumbo Series, Nov. 20 – 23 at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska St.
The Odunde Festival features an Intergenerational Dance Musical, entitled "HOMELAND," written and directed by Kibibi Monié of Nu Black Arts West Theatre and featuring a talented group of regional performers, including the traditional West African-based Adefua African Music and Dance Company, Seattle's renowned Hip Hop group, Kutt 'N' Up and other local performers.
"HOMELAND" is the story of how Africans came to America, how their cultures were mingled and how new awareness and events pushed their rediscovery of their native teachings and culture. Three performances are scheduled, on Nov. 20 through 22 at 7 p.m. A sampling of African food will be offered after the program.
A special opening night "HOMELAND Concert" on Thursday will benefit the Adefua Building Fund. Tickets are pay-what-you-can for this kick-off event only.
The Adefua Building Fund will support a new teaching and performance facility in the Rainier Beach neighborhood for this 30-year-old performing organization.
The Odunde Festival offers audiences the sights, sounds and flavors of West Africa with an African Marketplace, an African Spirituality Lecture and Fashion Show, and Dance and Drumming Workshops. The African Marketplace features clothing, artifacts, books, toys and cuisine from Noon to 8 p.m. on Nov. 20 to 22; special holiday items will be featured.
The African Marketplace food vendor will be Southeast Seattle's own Afrikando-Afrikando Restaurant, specializing in Senegalese cuisine. There is no charge to enter.
The African Spirituality Lecture begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 and features Chief-Priest (Babalawo) Bode Fasuyi of Nigeria, West Africa, who will speak about "Ifa Agbigba," the ancient Yoruba religion practiced by many cultures today.
This lecture will give an overview of the Yoruba Culture from a traditional view, including the people, religion, economics, food and fashion of the Yoruba People of Nigeria.
A fashion show featuring traditional African costumes will follow the lecture. At 5 p.m. an artists' reception is scheduled for audience members to meet all the artists involved in The Odunde Festival. There is no charge for the artists' reception and West African hors d'oeurves will be offered to all attendees.
African Dance and Drumming Workshops will be offered on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22 and 23. Workshops will be lead by the Adefua Company, are appropriate for all age levels and are a great opportunity for families and neighbors to interact and have fun together.
Drumming workshops are scheduled for 11a.m. (beginners) on Nov 22 and 1:30 pm (all levels) on Nov 23. Dance workshops will be held at 1 p.m. (all levels) on Nov. 22, and noon (beginners) on Nov. 23. Discount workshop and lecture tickets are available at [email protected] or by calling 206-722-6602; deadline for discounts is Nov. 20.