Ohio University

Ohio University 2020 Global Arts Festival

Bringing world music and dance, diversity, and the intersection of arts and wellness to the Athens campus. 


UPDATE: The Global Arts Festival has been postponed until fall, 2020.

Check here regularly for updates.


Azaguno: Musicians laying drums with dancers.

Ohio University announces the schedule of events of the much-anticipated 2020 Global Arts Festival March 30 to April 3, a celebration of 17 years of African Arts, 10 Years of World Music and Dance and 2 Years of Global Arts Festival Symposium at Ohio University. The Festival celebrates the impact all forms of art has and can have on health and wellness across the globe. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted below. 

The OHIO-wide series of events officially launched on March 3 with the opening of an exhibition on international costumes curated by Helene Siebrits, associate professor of Costume Design and head of OHIO’s Costume Program at the Multicultural Gallery at Baker University Center. The exhibition runs through the end of May. 

“Activities of Global Arts Festival are geared towards introducing our students to different ways of conceptualizing the arts and potentially opening up new avenues of creativity, expression, and aesthetic appreciation,” says Paschal Yao Younge, professor of World Music at OHIO’s School of Music, who co-directs the Global Arts Festival with Zelma Badu-Younge, professor of Dance at OHIO’s School of Dance. “Our goal is to introduce variety of musical sounds and dance movements from all over the world and thereby expand the musical experiences in addition to helping students understand that many areas of the world have music and dance as sophisticated as their own,” Younge says. “In addition, the Festival offerings aim to help our students discover many different but equally valid ways of constructing music, dance, film and visual arts.” 

Beginning Monday, March 30, the 2020 Global Arts Festival week packs in more than 15 workshops and lectures demonstrating the confluence of art, health and wellness; multiple music, dance and theater performances; an international fashion show; and a keynote speech by a leading international figure, Ben Dotsei Malor of the United Nations. 

The 2020 Global Arts Festival complete schedule of events can be found here.

Malor, chief editor at UN News at the United Nation’s Headquarters in New York City, is the 2020 Global Arts Festival’s guest of honor. His keynote speech, “Education and Health Partnership: The Role of Academic Institutions in Promoting United Nations SDGs” will take place at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on April 2 from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. 

The 2020 Global Arts Festival week culminates with the 10th World Music and Dance Concert on Friday, April 3 at 7:30 pm, also at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. The event features the National Dance Company of Ghana, the Messiah College Symphony Orchestra, the Largemouth Brass Band, the Ohio University African Ensemble, the Ohio University Steel Band, the New Chords on the Block, and the multi-ethnic ensemble Azaguno. Tickets to the 10th World Music and Dance Concert can be purchased here. 

The 2020 Global Arts Festival also includes performances of the OHIO Tantrum Theater’s production of “Objects in the Mirror” by Distinguished Professor Charles Smith at E.E. Baker Theater in Kantner Hall, on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased here. Athens’ International Street Fair on Court Street takes place on Saturday, April 4 fro 10am to 4pm. The event is free and open to the public. 

The 2nd Annual Global Arts Festival Symposium: Arts, Health, Wellness and Sustainable Development takes place in collaboration with the 2020 Global Arts Festival at multiple locations on the Athens Campus March 31 to April 1. The Symposium features 12 sessions and 36 presentations focused on the Symposium’s theme. 

“The Symposium will create opportunities for an intellectual exchange of ideas, concepts, and recommendations to aid artists, educators, healthcare professionals, policy makers, and others working at the intersections of art, public health, wellness and community development,” says Younge. 

The 2nd Annual Global Arts Festival Symposium: Arts, Health, Wellness and Sustainable Development schedule can be found here. 

The 2020 Global Arts Festival and the 2nd Annual Global Arts Symposium are sponsored by multiple Ohio University colleges and units including the College of Fine Arts, its Arts for OHIO program, and its School of Music, School of Dance, School of Film, School of Theater, School of Interdisciplinary Arts, School of Art + Design and its Ohio Valley Center for Collaborative Arts; the International Student Union; the Office of Global Affairs and International Studies; the Center for International Studies; the Performing Arts Series; the Concert Series; the College of Fine Arts’ the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Azaguno; the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion; Multicultural Programs and Initiatives; the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; the Campus Involvement Center; the Black Student Cultural Programming Board; the Scripps College of Communication; The Movement Organization; Berekum African Market; Jackie O’s Brewery; and the Puffin Foundation West. 

Share your experiences with #OHIOworldmusicdance. 

Contact: Paschal Younge, festival co-director and professor of Music Education, at (740) 236-0521, or youngep@ohio.edu.