Senegal Rhythms, Dance, and Story

June 5th, 2021 at 3:00 pm (PDT)

This event is free and open to all! 

On Zoom and streamed

Enjoy the music, dance, and culture of Senegal! Online event broadcast live from Motherland Music. 

Join Malik Sow live from Motherland Music! Malik has had a long association with Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks as a sought after leader on the drum. Born in Dakar, Senegal, into the Fulani tribe, Malik comes from a long line of musicians and griots. A master drummer and teacher, he has performed across tribes and in major performance troupes throughout West Africa and America, where is has lived since 1960. 

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Looking Back Moving Forward

2021 Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Mask at the Leimert Park ArtWalk

Sunday, June 27th, 12:00 - 1:30 pm (PDT)

Join us as we experience Thiossane, the Senegalese way of taking cues from the past to live well in the present. This June, we are online to celebrate the rich traditions of the African Diaspora and connect you with Black creatives from across the globe! 

The festival will be live on Zoom and streamed to Facebook and YouTube. 

Hosted by Bruce Lemon

Poetry by S. Pearl Sharp and Triniti Daniel-Robinson

New Performance by Olugun Prophecy

World Premiere by S.H.I.N.E. MUWASI

New Song! Celebration by Maxx Percussion

Blessing by Imodoye Shabazz

Featured Artists: 

Lula Washington Dance Theater

Katalyst

Ranika Adachi

Noni Olabisi

Kehinde Johnson

Sankofa Leaders

All ages are welcomed and invited to travel the African Diaspora with us! 

Proudly Black!

Sunday, June 13th, at 12:00 (PDT)

Join us in conversation with Sunny Moore and Nyambo Anuluoha, moderated by Melanesia Hunter

Join the Zoom room or stream on Youtube

Senegal is one of the world's fashion capitals, brimming with creativity and the style of a people who bring a special look to every endeavor, declaring with each step what it means to be Black and proud. 

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Nyambo Anuluoha and her sister Kay are co-owners and CEOs of KUTULA by Africana, continuing as second-generation owners. Over 40 years ago, Francesca Anuluoha emigrated from Zambia to Los Angeles and opened a retail space, Africana Imports on Slauson Ave., with a focus on creating beautiful clothes that connect people to their African past and the power of having a proud history. In 2014, she retired and moved to Zambia, leaving her daughters Kay and Nyambo Anuluoha in charge, and the rebranded the store as KUTULA by Africana, which remains LA's premiere retailer for African inspired fashion. KUTULA also serves as a design showroom for African-inspired fashions serving film and television costume as well as set designers, stylists, celebrities, dignitaries, and leaders across sectors. 

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Sunny Moore, owner of Sunny Moore Collections clothing line, was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. She currently resides in Senegal and has studied and worked in the health, art, real estate, and entertainment businesses for the last twenty-five years, specializing in designing clothes, health and fitness and training youth in trade skills. Sunny also works with local artisans in West African to help bridge the gap between the diaspora and Africa. Her dream is to build a solid foundation on the African continent for those interested in beguiling our great BLACK NATION for the next generation. 

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Melanesia Hunter is a self-taught makeup activist to the stars, culture curator, and CEO. Mel has a natural gift for enhancing the beauty that already exists and amplifies the flavor of everything she touches! She the owner of her own Afro Bohemian online boutique and lifestyle brand, HippieChik, and of her production company The27Brand. Mel is also a Cultural Organizing Lead with We Love Leimert. 

Senegal Rhythms, Dance, and Story

June 5th, 2021 at 3:00 pm (PDT)

This event is free and open to all! 

On Zoom and streamed on Youtube

Enjoy the music, dance, and culture of Senegal! Online event broadcast live from Motherland Music. 

Join Malik Sow live from Motherland Music! Malik has had a long association with Day of the Ancestor: Festival of Masks as a sought after leader on the drum. Born in Dakar, Senegal, into the Fulani tribe, Malik comes from a long line of musician and griots. Born to be a drummer, her has performed across tribes and in major companies through West Africa before coming to America, along with teaching others, since 1960. 

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Ancestors Mask and Song

Saturday, June 19th, 2021 at 11 am (PDT)

This event is free and open to all! 

On Zoom and streamed on Youtube

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Mask making and song with Rene Fisher-Mims and S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi direct from Leimert Park!

Rene Fisher-Mims, or Mama Nene, is one of the lead artist organizers and co-founders of the Festival of Masks. She is a dancer, vocalist, hair stylist, master percussionist and founder/ director of S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi, a women's drum circle. S.H.I.N.E is an acronym for Sister's Healing, Inspiring, Nurturing, and Empowering in the Hands of God. Mama Nene teaches drum workshops every Thursday at The World Stage in Leimert Park Village. 

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Leimert Park's Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks is an annual celebration of our ancestors and an invocation for the South Central Los Angeles community. It is a multicultural, multigenerational, and multimedia arts event that champions the vast identities and cultures of the African diaspora

Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks

Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks

Now on Sale
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Minna

Dominique Moody

Kayla Shelton

S. Pearl Sharp 

Halline Overby

I see you

I see you distant neighbor

I see you unhoused child

each step reclaims identity

This is still South Central

my stomping ground

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Dominique Moody

Dezmond Crockett

S. Pearl Sharp 

Halline Overby

Visual Arts and Dogan Cosmology

May 23, 2021 at 12:00 pm (PDT)

In the spirit of independence and Masquerade, Visual Arts and Dogan Cosmology will explore the intergenerational journey of tradition. Join artist/gallerist Aziz Diagne and educator/historian Abdullatif Bell Tounkara in dialogue about sharing their cultural knowledge with the next generation of artists and reflecting on the cultural impact of Senegal in their modern practices. Moderated by artist Brittney Price. 

Join the Zoom room or stream on Youtube

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Abdullatif Bell Tounkara is an autodidact concerning Afrikan Spirituality, History and Culture with emphasis on West Afrika, the ancient to enslavement, and the effects of the history with present life consciousness. Abdullatif has been teaching Afrikan Djembe drumming and some therapeutic effects to inmates in five San Joaquin Valley prisons for the last five years. He has performed and spoken at public and private events from weddings, receptions and funerals to schools to radio, television and theatre talent. He holds a BA and a K-12 teaching credential. 

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Aziz Diagne is a multi-media artist from Senegal, West Africa. He grew up in the city of Thies, amid the traditional art forms of his homeland. These art forms include rock carving, ceramic and wood sculpture, murals, tapestry, and Thiesoise (reverse painting on glass). Aziz, a self-taught painter, through his unique and dynamic talents, quickly established himself as one of the premiere contemporary glass painters. Before coming to the United States, Aziz studied in Dakar and Thies, Senegal. Aziz traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, and South America, absorbing the art and cultures of diverse environments. These experiences have greatly enhanced the artist’s seemingly limitless repertoire and creative energy.

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Brittney Price is a Los Angeles-based fine artist and muralist specializing in impactful visual commentary on current events. As a female Black American, Brittney's perspective of life is unique, her art brings representation for this often-overlooked demographic. It is Brittney's intent to uplift, celebrate and teach her community using art as a vessel. 

Senegal

April 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm (PDT)

Watch the Event Below

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Malik Sow has had a long association with Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks as a sought after leader on the drum. Born in Dakar, Senegal, into the Fulani tribe, Malik comes from a long line of musicians and griots. Born to be a drummer, he has performed across tribes and in major companies throughout West Africa before coming to America, along with teaching others, since 1960.

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One of Malik's best students is his son Magatte Fall, who also began performing at an early age - two to be exact. Now a Grammy winning artist for his work with Angelique Kidjo, he, like his father, has made a name for himself as a drummer. In addition to Ms. Kidjo, he has performed with an impressive roster of major recording artists including Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Baaba Maal. One of his most exciting gigs was on the soundtrack for the Black Panther. He has also performed at Day of the Ancestors. We can't wait to see these two in conversation at our Diaspora Dialogue on April 18th. 

Meet Our Staff 

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Karen Mack

Founder & Executive Director

Karen Mack is a life long resident of Los Angeles and spent her early years growing up in Compton before moving to the current LA neighborhood of Miracle Mile. She decided to start LA Commons after her work in the civic sector revealed the challenge of building a sense community the city and her deep belief that art has the power to address this challenge. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University where she studied the role of culture in community building and is a former Vice President of Community Partners, LA Commons' fiscal sponsor. She brings her focus on issues of civic engagement and creative placekeeping to her role as an appointed member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

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Beth Peterson

Community Arts Program Director

Beth Peterson is the LA Commons Director of Community Arts Programs and has organized over 65 public arts projects in 13 neighborhoods successfully involving youth, professional artists, high schools and community partner organizations in diverse neighborhoods. She serves as a Master Puppet and Mask Teaching Artist for the Music Center of Los Angeles County and LA Arts, and as puppet and mask artist at venues and celebrations throughout the region. In addition, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at Antioch University teaching approaches to integrating arts into school curriculum for the Masters of Education Program.

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Leslie Tamaribuchi

Director, Strategy and Operations 

Leslie has championed arts and cultural equity as a strategist, teacher, producer and administrative leader in Los Angeles for over 25 years. As Managing Director and ensemble member at Cornerstone Theater Company she produced participatory theater projects with partners in Boyle Heights, Pacoima, Watts and Chinatown, and led a $1.5 million capital campaign for sustainability. At California Institute of the Arts she served on the faculty of the School of Theater, teaching cultural policy and fundraising for the expanded field, and serving as Associate Dean and faculty Co-Director for Equity and Diversity. A founding member of the boards of Watts Village Theater Company and Los Angeles Performance Practice, she serves on the national board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and as an advisor to the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project. She holds an MPA from the Kennedy School and studied as a Mombusho Fellow at Kyoto University.

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Miranda Ynez

Community Arts Cultural Organizer

Born and Raised in East Los Angeles, Miranda Ynez is a California native, Arts Management professional and community leader committed to increasing participation in the arts and culture throughout our local Los Angeles communities. Her passion for the arts and culture have helped her advocate the values, insights, and knowledge of communities to help maintain the identity and voice of the neighborhood. She currently works as the Community Arts Cultural Organizer for LA Commons.

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Maeve Atkinson

Marketing and Development Intern

Maeve recently graduated with a degree in Art History and Religion from St. Olaf College. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is passionate about the intersection arts programing and accessibly, and most recently brought the exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 to her community. She is excited to be part of LA Commons and contribute to the arts in this great city.

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Afrika Bakenra

Office Coordinator

Afrika is a proud Ohio native, with a penchant for cowboy boots. She moved to Los Angeles in 2010 for college and completed her B.A. at Occidental College. In addition to her success with dance and songwriting, she is an active team member at LA Commons and is very grateful to be a part of the team.

Meet Our Board 

Allison Agsten

Todd Becraft

Tammy Brown

Azusena Favela

Glenn R. Gatien

Maria Rosario Jacksom

Karen Mack

Anne McAulay

William Parent

Autumn Breon Williams