From staff reports
The Ohio University African Ensemble, under Zelma Badu-Younge's and Paschal Yao Younge's direction, will present the arts of Africa through a three-day symposium and AZA! dance and music concert titled "Mother Africa" Thursday, April 30, through Saturday, May 2.
"(Paschal and I) believe that it is important for Ohio University students, faculty and staff, as well as the Athens community, to learn about other cultures, and what better way than through the arts," said Badu-Younge, assistant professor of dance.
The annual event has been expanded this year to include a symposium titled "African Women and the Arts" and will feature talks, demonstration and workshops by prominent scholars and artists including Kariamu Welsh (USA), Daniel Avorgbedor (USA and Ghana), Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka (USA and Nigeria) and Modou Dieng (USA and Senegal). Symposium events will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Baker University Center Theater.
As the event is being held during Ohio University's Moms Weekend, Younge and Badu-Younge hope to introduce students and their mothers to the passion and dynamism of African arts. In addition to the concert, weekend events will include hands-on drumming and dance workshops.
Inspired by the vision of Director of African Studies Steve Howard, Younge and Badu-Younge hope to show positive features and images of Africa.
The concert, which is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, features performances by a cross-disciplinary group of Ohio University faculty and students and guest artists including African dance ensemble Azaguno, West Virginia University Women's Chorus, stilt walker Sogbety Diomande, Kombo Omolara and Estelle Lavoie.
This will be the fourth African music and dance concert jointly presented by the School of Music and School of Dance and the sixth annual concert in collaboration with the College of Fine Arts and African Studies.
Symposium and workshop events are free and open to the public. Concert tickets are $12 for general admission, $9 for non-OHIO students and free for all Ohio University students with a valid ID. Tickets for the concert are available at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and one hour before the show.