• LA Commons Staff

2020 Festival of Masks PROGRAM


10TH ANNUAL LEIMERT PARK

DAY OF THE ANCESTORS: FESTIVAL OF MASKS

A CELEBRATION OF BLACK JOY



SUNDAY, AUGUST 30, 2020, 2PM PDT

via zoom and facebook live


Welcome to the Tenth Annual Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks at the Leimert Park Art Walk. In this time of pandemic, we focus on the wisdom of our ancestors - on the continent of Africa and across the diaspora - to guide us in creating our future. You have joined an international assembly of artists from Los Angeles, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Curaçao and Zambia and come together with the people of Leimert Park and beyond to uncover the power of Black joy as resistance.


Traditionally, Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks is the artistic culmination of months of work to explore art and ideas and connect to the African diaspora through a procession and festival on the streets of Leimert Park Village, the cultural heart of Black Los Angeles. Artists and culture bearers lead workshops inviting people of all ages to spend time communing with their ancestors, making masks and giant puppets and learning movement, rhythm and song. Festival day is a joyful spectacle and spiritual experience that uplifts individual expression and collective creativity and brings the community together across generations, in a celebration of multiplicity and unity.


This year, we presented a series of online experiences to create these cultural connections. Online Festival of Masks Cultural Arts Workshop participants included local youth (Sankofa Leaders) and community members near and far. Through a series of Diaspora Dialogues, we brought together artists and culture-bearers across oceans to engage in intimate conversation, sharing creative practices and wisdom that speak to this time.


Upholding the values that have been at the heart of Day of the Ancestors, we honor the ancestors by supporting local artists and culture bearers in opportunities for exchange with artists from across the Diaspora; and by involving local youth as apprentices, learning from these creators with a focus on the cultural traditions powering the practice. We recognize our young people as visionaries, and support them in developing skills and resilience to create the future.

At this 2020 festival, we welcome your participation! Appreciate the artistry and wisdom of Diaspora Dialogue participants, hear the stories behind the ancestor masks created by Sankofa Leaders, join virtual tours of Leimert Park black-owned businesses produced by rising cultural organizers We Love Leimert.


We invite you to join in the blessing and libation ceremony, invoking community reflection and healing. And envision together with us a procession through our streets, symbolizing the people's power and capacity to take ownership over our communities, address challenges, and create change.



Follow @lacommons on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Share your ancestor stories, mask pictures, community love, cultural inspiration and tag:

#LABlackJoy2020

#FestivalofMasks

#DayoftheAncestors

#LACommons

#LeimertArtWalk

#LeimertPark

#BlackJoyAsResistance

#ThreadstoAncestors

#WeLoveLeimert


Click UNDERLINED links in the program below for bios, interviews and more!


Videos of African Diasporic Arts Workshops and Diaspora Dialogues available on LA Commons Facebook


Some recordings shared as part of this event are archival, others were created for the Festival at locations from Leimert Park to Lusaka, under diverse conditions. As festival organizers, we urge everyone to honor your ancestors, love your community and wear a mask.




LA COMMONS

Headquartered in Leimert Park, LA Commons, a project of Community Partners, works in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles facilitating issue-driven public art projects that inspire creativity in everyone. We engage communities in artistic and cultural expressions that tell their unique stories and serve as a basis for dialogue, interaction, understanding and organizing for a more just and equitable Los Angeles.



LEIMERT PARK ARTWALK

Leimert Park Village has a long history of being the center of African American arts and culture. Held on the last Sunday of each month, Leimert Park Artwalk invites the public to share a day of art exhibitions, music, fashion, food, drumming, spoken word, and local shopping. Throughout the day, cultural spaces, artist studios, and storefronts in the village also have offerings ranging from free computer seminars and specialty vendors to film screenings, youth theater performances, and live bands.


Festival of Masks Leadership Circle

Ben Caldwell

Nzingha Camara

Kaya Dantzler

Rene Fisher-Mims

Tasha Hunter

Ronieka Pinkney

Pastor Kelvin Sauls




Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks

A Celebration of Black Joy

DJ: Adé Neff


Co-hosts: Tasha Hunter & Bruce Lemon

Blessing

Baba Imodoye Shabazz

Rene Fisher-Mims

Karen Mack, LA Commons

Olokun Cultural Group

Najite Agindotan

Ben Caldwell, KAOS Network

We Love Leimert: Local Business Feature

KAOS Network

Nappily Naturals

Invocation

Pastor Kelvin Sauls

Queen Mothers: Mama I Can’t Breathe

S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi: #SayHerName

Libation and Harambee

Ronieka Pinkney

Digital Procession and Workshops

We Love Leimert: Homie Time

with Verbs, Kaya, Mel and Sondria

We Love Leimert: Local Business Feature

Hot and Cool Cafe

Sika

Sankofa Leaders

Bee Wheeler, Paradys Oakley, Sean Baker

Sankofa Leaders

Noni Olabisi, Nichole Jones, Parys Oakley

Diaspora Dialogue Brazil

Viviam Caroline, Banda Dia

Rene Fisher-Mims, SHINE Muwasi

Diaspora Dialogue South Africa

Zosukuma Kunene and the poetry of Professor Masizi Kunene

Dr. Don Mattera and Teddy Mattera


Sankofa Leaders

Adoniah Freeman, Amara McDuffie, Clarence McDuffie


Diaspora Dialogue Curaçao

Diamanta, Kuenta

Linafornia


We Love Leimert: Local Business Feature

Ride On! Bike Shop

Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center


Diaspora Dialogue Nigeria

Orobiyi Motunrayo Abiodun (Adunni), Adunni & Nefretiti

Jimetta Rose, Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation


Diaspora Dialogue Zambia

Francesca Anuluoha

Nyambo Anuluoha, Kutula Design by Africana

NSIKU performed by Wezi


Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation







Festival of Masks Diaspora Dialogue Artists and Partners:

Brazil

Viviam Caroline (Banda Dia)

Rene Fisher-Mims (SHINE Muwasi)

Dr. Giavanni Washington (Viver Brasil), Moderator

Paula Santos, Translator


South Africa

Dr. Don Mattera and Teddy Mattera

Zosukuma Kunene

Ben Caldwell

Pastor Kelvin Sauls, Moderator


Curaçao

Diamanta (Kuenta)

Linafornia

Melanesia Hunter, Moderator


Zambia

Francesca Anuluoha (Kutula by Africana)

Nyambo (Bo) Anuluoha (Kutula by Africana)

Karen Mack, Moderator


Nigeria

Orobiyi Motunrayo Abiodun (Adunni & Nefretiti)

Jimetta Rose (Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation)

Metebrafor Agindotan, Moderator


Special thanks:

Najite Agindotan

Kaya Dantzler

Wajenda Chambeshi

King Drew University

Linda Yudin (Viver Brasil)



Olokun Cultural Group

Najite Agindotan

Nagode Simpson

Metebrafor Agindotan

Onome Agindotan

Daniella Kyle

Kiemute Agindotan



Queen Mothers: Mama I Can’t Breathe

Nzingha Camara

Rene Fisher-Mims

Sharon Givens

Barbara Williams

Nzingha Ejukwa

Beverly Brewster

Stephanie Haynes

Teresa Smith

Jennifer Knight

Makeda Jackson


Spoken Word Poetress/V. Kali

Priest/Baba Imodoye


Master Drummers:

Baba Malik Sow

Kenyatta Poole

Jaijai Johnson

Kwesi Williams


Masked Dancer/Queen Lolo

Stiltwalker/Kehinde Johnson


Videography/Editor/Chester Whitmore

Music/H.E.R. ‘I Can’t Breathe’

Choreographer/Nzingha Camara

Costumes & Props/Nzingha Camara, Sharon Givens and Kehinde Johnson


S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi: #SayHerName

DRUMLINE

Emma-Lorraine

Bart-Plange

Imani Ife

Bevely Brewster

Danniella Ddanceah

Lynn Jackson

Mekeda Jackson

Cherl Denson

Jennifer Knight

Christy Ramiez

Mekeda Kumasi

Cora Player

Rene Fisher-Mims

MOTHERS

Valerie Parker

Nzingha Camara

Sharon Giveins

Beverly Brewster

Janice Rankalawan

DANCERS

Teresa Smith

Kamilah Marshall

Empress Ariella

Protesters

Alisha McDonald

Ramona Stephens

Reggae Moms

Jahzara Garbutt /gard

Zola McDonald /gard

Za'Yn McDonald /gard

Umbrella Men

JAy P

King Tay

TK




Festival of Masks Workshops


Lead Artists

Maria Elena Cruz

Rene Fisher-Mims

Barron Lightner

Ronieka Pinkney

Noni Olabisi


Youth Mentors

Lynzie Glover

KaLynn Youngblood


Technical Support:

LewaNana Pinkney

Sydney Wharton

Erin Wimberly



Workshop Participants: * Sankofa Leaders Adoniah Freeman* Alejandra Herrera Alexandria Patience Alexis Grossman Allie C Amanda Gracis Amara McDuffie* Amir Pinkney * Amir Whitaker Andrew Lewis Arceli Burgos Barbara Williams Bee (Brittany) Wheeler * Billy Harris Bryant Miramontes Bullot Robert Zakirov-Schecht Camilla Sky CarolynJohnson * Chikako Yamuchi Christina Dominguez Clarence McDuffie III * Connie Martin Trevino Daisy Jiménez-Luna David Rockello Deborah Wei Delia Echevers Drew Stever Dushi Amour El Banu Eleora Salvador * Elizabeth Thomas Eloise Perrochet Erin Jones Esther Waltz Farida Corkery-Smith Fazeel Chauhan Feliz McInnis Georgina Nicholas-Jago Geraldine Wong Ginnia Hargins Giovanni Valentine * Gloria Graves Holly Lynn Purser Imani Aanu Isabel Portillo Jabari Harris * Jeanette Mack Taylor Jeanette Parham Jolene Perkins Jon Ho Jonnissa Jackson Juanita Feurer Judi Redman Justa Copa Kaelyn Badu Karen White Karen Bagnard Kariso Simon-Hart Katrina Bailey Kevin Phạm Laura Echevers Laura Jo ( Patrick) Lauren Quarles Lilit Sevadjian Lillian Orta Lisa Beebe Liz Varela Lucy montes Maria Ramos Mary Montgomery-Baldridge Melissa guerrero Melody Capote Millo Huertas Mitzi Morin Nancy Hart Nichole Jones * Noah Jenkins * Omiyemi Artisiam Green Paradyse Oakley * Parys Oakley * Patricia Williams Rianna Lara Godfrey * Richlene Frost Sabrina Ross Sarah Mital Sean Baker * Stanley Harris Susan Awad Sylvia Stinson Taliba Rosemary-Carr Tasha Hunter Tessa Adler The Nunez Chateau Traci Green Valeria Meza Vince Hughes Yvonne West




We Love Leimert

⛲️ Leimert Park ⛲️, the heart of Black culture in LA, collectively bridging

generational gaps & cultivating connection thru art + community.

Local Business Features

Hosted by Yohaun Walker and Miriha Austin with Kaya Dantzler

KAOS Network, Ben Caldwell

Nappily Naturals, Sharon and Umaar

Ride On! Bike Shop, Adé Neff

Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center, Fernando Pullum

Hot and Cool Cafe, Tony Jolly

Sika, Sika Dwimfo and Milan Wilkinson

Homie Time with Verbs

Verbs, Kaya Dantzler, Melanesia Hunter, Sondria

Digital Organizers: Miriha Austin, Six Sev, JayP


Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks

A Celebration of Black Joy

Digital Event Design and Production

Toran X. Moore, Producer/Production Manager

Tasha Hunter, Artistic Lead

Travone Evans, Editor/Videographer/Broadcast Lead

Lynzie Glover, Editor/Videographer/Production


Digital Experience Design and Facilitation by

Calling Up Justice: Claudia Alick, Dani Bae, Sabina Unni, Karinna Ithier


Digital Event Production:

Erin Wimberly

LewaNana Pinkney

Sydney Wharton


Graphic Design

Kayla Shelton




LA Commons Staff

Afrika Bakenra, Office Coordinator

Beth Peterson, Director of Community Arts Programs

Karen Mack, Executive Director

Leslie Tamaribuchi, Director, Strategy and Operations

Maeve Atkinson, Development and Marketing Intern

Miranda Ynez, Community Arts Organizer

Rich Johnson, Special Project Manager

Sandi Garcia, Youth Mentor

Toran X. Moore, Production Manager

Many Thanks to:

The World Stage

Sole Folks

Brittani Bakewell

Joseph Cochran

Special Thanks to all those who contributed so greatly over the years - to be continued:

Lula Washington Dance Theater

Dembrebrah

Marie Kellier

Viver Brasil

Peter and Roxanne Abilagu

Tory Reese

La Ballet Dambara

Damaris, Dennis, Minkah and Ambiya Smith

Al Smith

Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center

Esowan Books

Community Build

Leimert Park Stakeholders

And all youth arts alumni and community participants









The Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks

was made possible with the support of


The Dwight Stuart Youth Fund


Herb Alpert Foundation






Howlround TV


and individual supporters like you.



Make a gift today

to support

cultural connection


DONATE





149 views
Subscribe to our newsletter 

About LA Commons

LA Commons, a project of Community Partners, has worked in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles since 2003, facilitating artistic processes, open to all, that result in highly visible public art projects that tell dynamic neighborhood stories.

Stay Connected 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Contact Us 

info@lacommons.org 

PH: (323) 792-0366 

4343 Leimert Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90008

© 2020 by LA Commons.