Fifth annual African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival in Little Haiti
Erick Johnson | 8/28/2014, 9 a.m.
The thumping sounds of traditional African drums will celebrate ethnic pride and culture during the fifth annual African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival from Sept. 5-7 in Little Haiti.
Sponsored by Delou, Africa, Inc. the festival will include myriad music, dance and drum traditions of Africa under the event’s theme, Bridging Cultural Gaps. Adults and children of various cultures will be immersed in workshops and classes that aim to promote diversity and harmony. Organizers said the festival will also showcase the creativity and the cultural resilience of the rich traditions of Africa.
"We just want to bring people from cultures all over the world and the U.S. to show everyone that Miami is a cultural destination," said Folayan Griffiths, vice president of Delou Africa.
A three-day cultural arts extravaganza, the festival will celebrate its fifth anniversary by bringing back artists who have participated in the event since it was founded in 2009, Griffiths said.
Colorful and informative, participants of all ages will dance to various African drums during the festival's classes.
Numerous dance instructors and experienced musicians will lead participants with electrifying and uplifting ethnic dances.
The festival will open Friday at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex with several workshops that will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Adjacent to the Caribbean Marketplace, The Little Haiti Cultural Complex is located at 212 NE 59th Terrace.
The remaining activities will be held at the iTech@Thomas A. Edison Educational Center-formerly Miami Edison Middle School-located at 6101 NW 2nd Ave.
On Saturday and Sunday, vendors will showcase ethnic arts, crafts and other items at a vendor marketplace in the school's courtyard. There will also be exotic foods and beverages for purchase.
A raffle will be held for guests to win two tickets to South Africa.
On Saturday, A Better Living Symposium will feature a panel of medical and nutritional experts who will offer advice on healthy eating, dieting and preventing diseases. Guests will also learn how to prepare healthy meals by participating in food demonstrations. The symposium is free.
The popular Children’s Village returns to the festival and will offer a wide variety of events to educate youth about the African Diaspora. The program will include drum and dance classes for 5-12 year olds beginning at 10 a.m. There will also be a children's theatre class and storytelling. In addition, there will be a Children’s Expo that will offer face painting, arts and crafts, a hula hoop workshop, and children’s martial arts class.
As part of the Children's Expo, the renowned Bass Museum of Art on Miami Beach will give an interactive presentation called Mysteries of the Ancient Gods.
On Saturday evening, a Concert Extravaganza will be held featuring artists from Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Cuba and the U.S.
General Admission to the concert is $20, but discounted prices are offered online if tickets are purchased before Aug. 29.
The drum and music workshops have admission fees. For registration and details, go to www.adddff.delouafrica.org/registration
On Sunday, starting at 10 a.m., more dance and music workshops for adults will be held at the school, followed by the festival's closing reception in the courtyard at 4 p.m.