NJPAC to host virtual Kwanzaa festival

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A flyer for NJPAC's Kwanzaa celebration in 2021 (Courtesy: NJPAC/New Jersey Theatre Alliance).

NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will host a virtual Kwanzaa festival on Saturday, Dec. 18.

It kicks off at 10 a.m. with the “New Renaissance of Black Theatre” panel. The discussion is hosted in collaboration with Newark Arts and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. 

Panelists from Yendor Theatre Company, The Jersey City Theater Center, Crossroads Theater Company, and several other New Jersey arts organizations will discuss one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa — Ujima — and how it relates to the new era of Black art. 

Ujima means “collective work and responsibility” in Swahili.  

In other words: It takes a village.

“I’m really excited about this panel, in particular, because the theater alliance is focusing this year on supporting emerging theater leaders of color,” said Deonte Griffin-Quick, director of programming and services at the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

“I think (people should) be excited about the next generation of theatre-makers who are coming up,” Griffin-Quick said. “the ones who are going to really be changing things, and the ones who are going to be a little bit more innovative than what we’ve seen in the past.”

A series of dance workshops begin at 11 a.m. Instructors will teach various genres, including West African dance, Afrobeats, Capoeira, and more. 

The festival will cap off with a discussion on health and wellness, led by local divine nine fraternities and sororities. 

Attendance for each event is free, and attendees are asked to RSVP here.