The July 27th Kick-Off event includes appearances by emerging local vocalist IhsAn Bilal, Rapper, AB The Producer, Anthony Anderson and the cast of the internet sensation Anacostia The Series, and the East of the River Steel Drum Band. Special narratives provided by noted author, Dr. Courtney Davis, Jay Coleman, the Honorable Baba-C Griot and Dianne Dale are sure to be fun for children (and adults) of all ages!
11AM - The East of the River Boys and Girls Steel Band - Come hear the sweet sounds of the East of the River Boys and Girls Steel Band! This creative musical group made up of youth from east of the Anacostia River, will entertain you with percussion instruments from Trinidad and Tobago. All Ages
12PM - IhsAn Bilal - Classically trained at the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts, this talented vocalist and songwriter will delight audiences with her smooth voice. All Ages.
1PM - Opening Day Ceremony - Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other distinguished guests will be on hand to recognize the arts, culture, and creativity found throughout Ward 8, and to celebrate the revitalization of the St. Elizabeths East Campus!
1:45PM - The African Heritage Drummers and Dancers - Trained by Melvin Deal, who is known in the community as t he Father of African Dancing and Drumming, the members of this group will electrify the stage with pounding beats and vibrant dance. All Ages.
3PM - AB the Producer - One of the DMV's top producers/composers, "AB the Pro" is an accomplished music producer, rapper, and singer hailing from the Southeast quadrant of Washington, DC.
11AM - Jay Coleman - Coleman, a portrait and tattoo artist, will discuss his life and inspiration growing up in Ward 8. He will also answer audience questions about his unique artistic style and talents.
12PM - Dianne Dale - Dale will discuss her book, The Village that Shaped US, and her life growing up East of the River. Local luminaries Tendani Mpulubusi and Maurice Shorter will add their perspectives on the history and culture of the community.
1PM - A is For Anacostia Book Reading - Author Courtney Davis will explore the Big Chair and other Anacostia landmarks as she reads from her book. An audience discussion will follow. For ages 2-6.
1:45PM - Cast of Anacostia Web Series - The cast of this new webseries will discuss their roles, and what it's like acting and filming in Anacostia. Join Director and Producer, Anthony Anderson, and cast members Tamieka Chavis, Marion Akpan, and Pasha Diallo for discussion and Q&A. Suitable for ages 13 and up.
3PM - Baba-C - The Honorable Baba-C Griot/Master Storyteller will delight you with his interactive, entertaining narratives. Baba-C appeals to all audiences, transcending generational, cultural, and socioeconomic barriers. All ages.
11AM - Albus Cavus - Create a small wire sculpture based on Calder's Circus Mobiles. Be creative and show off your unique style! For ages 10+.
2PM - Dr. Courtney Davis - Join Dr. Davis in a workshop based on her book, A is for Anacostia.
11AM - Albus Cavus - A blank mural canvas will be constructed upon which each visitor will be encouraged to leave their creative mark! A community project for everyone! All ages.
1:30PM - East of the River Girls and Boys Steel Band Workshop - Experience the joy of the steel pan! Engage in discussion and play a few notes of your own. All ages.
3PM - Verbal Gymnastics - Poet and playwright John Johnson will host an interactive workshop that incorporates poetry and storytelling. The workshop will allow participants to use their observations of their community and personal experience to create a unique and original piece that will unlock their inner poet and wordsmith! Johnson will also share some of his poetry and tips that will help budding poets.