African Festival of the Arts hosts annual Gala

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PATRICK WOODTOR JOINS Africa International House Board Members Pam Morris and Chuck Bowen in recognizing this year’s Grand Baba Hosea Sanders of ABC 7.

This year’s Grand Baba and Yeye recognized under the theme “Spirit of Africa”

“The Spirit of Africa,” the 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts Gala and Art Exhibition held at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of Chicago was a colorful and joyous affair. This annual event featured all the pomp and pageantry of the African culture with drummers, dancers and performances, and honored this year’s Grand Baba, Hosea Sanders of ABC7 Chicago, and Grand Yeye, Maudlyne Ihejirika of the Chicago Sun Times.

The event also featured an exhibition of photos from the 30 years of the Festival compiled by the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers (CAAAP). The exhibition will be on display in the Center’s Café through the month of September. In addition to the presentation of the Grand Baba and Grand Yeye, there was a special recognition of community leaders. This year’s honorees were Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson, Jack Lynch, Gift of Hope; and Don Jackson, founder of the National Museum of Gospel Music.

There was also a sneak preview of entertainment that will be part of this year’s festival including Tracey Eileen, Taylor Iman and Melody Angel.

The 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts (AFA) will be held over the four-day Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 – Sept. 2. At 30, the AFA is the progenitor of African inspired cultural festivals in Chicago and across the country. The theme for this special anniversary is “Spirit of Africa.” Each year the AFA draws tens of thousands of people to its long-standing home in Washington Park. The Festival opens from 1 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday – Monday.

Connect to the 30th Annual AFA experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #AFAChi30.

PAST GRAND YEYE, Dr. Carole Adams, passes the torch to this year’s Grand Yeye Maudlyne Ihejirika.
WILL ROGERS, Chicago Reader, Patrick Woodtor, founder of the African Festival of the Arts, Tracy Baim, publisher Chicago Reader, Africa International House (AIH) Board Member Maavi Norman, and Chair of the AIH Board Shaffdeen Amuwo.

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