KWANZAA Unity in the Community
Please note, this event has expired.
Free “Kwanzaa: Unity in the Community” Event to Be Held
at the Panama City Center for the Arts on December 26
PANAMA CITY, Florida (December 15, 2018) – On December 26, from 2pm–5pm, Bay Arts Alliance will be presenting an event in celebration of the first day of Kwanzaa at the Panama City Center for the Arts. Attendees will enjoy live music, an interactive presentation of Kwanzaa, soul food from The Bistro Southern Cafeteria, and a welcoming sense of community at this family-friendly event.
“Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration, and the principle on the first night of Kwanzaa, December 26, is unity. When we approached Bay Arts Alliance with the idea of this event, we knew that unity, a sense of family, and community was something we could all use right now,” said Sonya Caldwell, Bay Arts Alliance Board Member, “And that’s how “Kwanzaa: Unity in the Community,” was born. We’re so excited to be holding the event in the Center for the Arts and we hope that everyone comes in to learn about Kwanzaa, enjoy the music and food, and even makes a Kwanzaa-inspired bracelet to take home as a reminder of how we are all connected.”
Visitors will start the afternoon by making bracelets while listening to music and getting to know one another, followed by a presentation of Kwanzaa. Don’t expect a boring lecture, though! Kwanzaa involves a lot of call and response, so warm up your voice beforehand to join in the fun. The rest of the event will include live music and performances, and will end with a small feast and a closing Unity Circle to allow everyone to connect one last time.
“We hope that this event gives everyone an understanding of Kwanzaa, while creating a real sense of community. It is free and open to all and we hope everyone feels welcome to come to the Center for the Arts for as much of the Kwanzaa celebration as possible!” said Jennifer Jones, Director of Bay Arts Alliance, “We know that Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration that people may have heard of, but don’t fully understand. This is a space to learn more, experience a little piece of it, and make some connections to community members you haven’t met before or haven’t seen in a while.”
Kwanzaa is a Swahili word meaning, “first,” and refers to the first fruits of the harvest. Following the 1965 Watts neighborhood riot in Los Angeles, Maulana Karenga was searching for a way to empower African Americans and give them a sense of pride in their African roots. Inspired by the African harvest celebrations of the Ashanti, Zulu, and other African peoples, he created a non-religious, seven-day celebration that emphasizes the importance of family and community.
Today Kwanzaa is celebrated by millions around the world, and while Kwanzaa celebrations often differ by family, they usually include songs and dances, storytelling, poetry, and a feast day on December 31. Each night, the family lights a candle and discusses that night’s principle—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, economic cooperation, purpose, creativity, and faith.
“Kwanzaa: Unity in the Community” is presented by Bay Arts Alliance and sponsored by The Bistro Southern Cafeteria.
Free (any non perishable food items donated will be passed along to local food pantries to share the feast forward)
19 East 4th St, Panama City, FL 32401
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