The Columbus African Festival is a bold, yet comprehensive approach to cultural reconversion and reconstruction within the African Diaspora in Central Ohio. It is grounded in the fact that many festivals which take place in the African communities are either singular or dual-focused (Film, Performing Art, Fine Art., etc.)
The Columbus African Festival as a theoretical and conceptual framework seeks to take a Renaissance approach to art and various forms of artistic expression. In this context, art is not just art for art’s sake, but is the creative cultural production of a people’s common history, common lifestyles, and their common and collective aspiration for a higher form of life and humanity. Building on the notion that 2011-2021 is the UN-sanctioned, International Decade for People of African Descent, the Columbus African Festival will showcase the breadth and expansiveness of African and Diasporan creative productive capacity with an emphasis on sustainability.
Festivals are not only for entertainment but are the artistic manifestation of a people’s values, collective personality, cultural creativity, and ultimately, their aspiration and vision of a higher level of life. Thus, in this context, the African-centered Approach to Wholistic Medicine becomes an art form. The Columbus African Festival approach would also highlight the Africanity in Music, Food, Dance, Fashion, Language, and even the artistry of the way we love when in harmony with our African self.
The Columbus African Festival is dedicated to invoking an educated positive understanding of African culture, values, and traditions as a whole. Through exposing central Ohio residents at large to educational and artistic programming based on African culture and art forms, the Columbus African Festival enriches the diversity of the community by introducing wholesome, grounded, and rich African concepts of family and community into society by example.
Preserving culture not only provides the seeds of wisdom that will grow into true wisdom, but it also provides a source of pride. Knowing one’s culture enhances education and life. Heritage is history, the unique knowledge, values, and traditions developed by a combination of genes and the environment over time. Heritage, whether it be national, cultural, or family is an endowment of unique sets of historical knowledge; but foremost, heritage is personal history. It is responsible for how we came to be, it is a very large part of who we are, and it can determine what we will become. As humans, we are free moral agents; because we can determine our future to great degrees, we may delude ourselves into thinking the past has no impact on us. But choices and past events have a very profound and long-lasting impact on any decision we can make; therefore, all decisions or choices made now are done so in the context of the past.
The Columbus African Festival will also serve to enlighten the public interest in the African Arts and to encourage artistic brainstorming and African exchange. The Festival will present an avenue for emerging and established artists to showcase their work on an international platform. Thereby creating opportunities for collaboration with other Artists and build new audiences.
The Columbus African Festival of Arts will feature the Best of local and international African Music, Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts, Fashion Shows, Poetry, Comedy, African Design, Textiles, Foods (Taste of Africa), and many from other African cultural expressions.
The Columbus African festival of the Arts is comprised of collaborative development of the African Countries immigrants living here in Columbus and other surrounding states. For Africans, being active participants in the United States involves a degree of sharing of their culture with other members of their different communities, as well as amongst themselves.
The Columbus African festival will be an annual celebration of the African rich culture and heritage. It’s going to be a timeless and jubilant celebration.
“Promoting African culture through music, arts, food, fashion show and poetry!”
“To present an annual celebration of the African influence of Art for the enrichment of African cultural life in Central Ohio and beyond.”
Meet Our Team
We are an array of talents and dedicated team to doing great work that projects the culture and values of the African continent and the diaspora.
Dr. Barth Shepkong
Chair, Board of Directors
Dr. Gachomo Mapis
Mr. Moustapha Bayo
Mr. Reginald Rowland
To Empower the community in arts participation as a community understanding and community development.
Engaging stakeholders and partners to address Africa’s challenges. The Columbus African Festival shall collaborate with groups, networks, structures, and alliances in Africa to influence the continental and national levels.
To create and nurture our unique and socio-cultural links and strengthen the community through Arts and Cultural Activities thereby expanding international understanding, cultural enrichment, and providing opportunities for the exchange of artistic talents.
To promote arts as an educational tool and as a means of communication between individuals, generation as a means of presenting and enhancing the African heritage.
To create a platform for the artists in the Greater Columbus areas to exhibit performance and share their art forms to encourage long-term relations and partnerships
An event of this type would build on the energy generated by the local Cultural oriented events, which can serve as feeders for this one. and could become a practical expression to channel creative production into.
The Columbus African Festival is a means of bringing the entire African community in central Ohio in support of African Culture
The Fashion Show component is a means of promoting African Designs.