2017 Moja Arts Festival schedule

Charleston, SC — The MOJA Arts Festival: A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts, kicks off on Thursday, September 28 and runs through Sunday, October 8. Tickets are now available online and by phone. Produced annually since 1983 by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the all-volunteer MOJA Arts Festival Program Committee, MOJA offers over eleven days a variety of arts and cultural programs, including free outdoor concerts, musical performances, theatre, dance, literary and visual arts. In addition, this year the MOJA Arts Festival is hosting several events in collaboration with Free Verse Festival, the inaugural Poetry Festival in Charleston, SC. A comprehensive listing of MOJA Arts Festival events is available online at mojafestival.com, along with a downloadable program guide and links for online ticketing.

2017 MOJA Arts Festival Highlights (paid admission events):

·         MOJA returns to the Gaillard on Friday, October 6, presenting Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, a collaboration with Charlton Singleton and Nathan L. Nelson, along with a fifteen piece jazz orchestra, and a choir assembling over one hundred voices, including Lowcountry Voices and Friends.

·         The Dock Street Theatre plays host to the Ranky Tanky Homecoming on Sunday, October 8 in the midst of the group’s successful national and international tour.

·         Charlton Singleton and Friends return to Charleston Music Hall with Higher Ground: The Music of Stevie Wonder on Friday, September 29. In addition, the Music Hall hosts Women & Cooke a Tribute to Sam Cooke, on Friday, October 8.

·         The MOJA Gospel Concert assembles some of the very best local vocalists for A Back Home Gospel Hour at Trinity United Methodist Church on Sunday, October 1.

·         In collaboration with Free Verse Festival, the Poetic Jazz Society featuring Marcus Amaker and Quentin E. Baxter present a night of poetry and jazz on Wednesday, October 4 at the Dock Street Theatre.

·         Art Forms and Theatre Concepts, Inc. presents Fences, the award winning August Wilson drama, at the Dock Street Theatre, running September 29 to October 1.

·         Gullah culture takes center stage in the dramatic production: When I First Remember, from Lady in White Productions, to be presented on Thursday, October 5 at Old Bethel United Methodist Church

·         The Gullah Geechee Angel Network in collaboration with We are Family, presents Sugar in the Grits, a compelling production that delves into issues of identity and heritage following a transwoman’s remarkable trek to self-discovery.

2017 MOJA Arts Festival Highlights (free events):

·         MOJA officially opens on Thursday, September 28 at 6:00 pm, with the annual Opening Day Street Parade beginning at Marion Square and concluding at the U.S. Custom House. Parade route heads down King and Market Streets, featuring festive Caribbean and African costumes, African drummers and marching bands. Opening Reception to follow in the courtyard of the Dock Street Theatre.

·         The Reggae Block Dance begins at 6:00 pm, at Brittlebank Park on Friday, September 29.  The lineup of Reggae artists taking the stage includes True Concept and Mighty Joshua. Food and artisan vendors will be on-site.

·         Heritage Day at Marion Square on Saturday, September 30 from 10 am to 3 pm, in Marion Square showcasing local and regional talent alongside artisans of global crafts and traditional wares and activities from local cultural ambassadors.

·         Charleston County Public Library hosts a series of family friendly MOJA performances with programming including Professor Jazz, The World of Anansi the Spider and storytelling with Gran’Daddy Junebug.

·         In partnership with the Avery Research Center for African American History and Charleston County Public Library, MOJA is a part of the Charleston NEA Big Read, focusing on Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. Events include a Keynote Panel on Identity in Performance on Monday, October 2.

·         MOJA is in West Ashley with MOJA at Magnolia Community Garden on Friday, October 6 beginning at 6pm featuring contemporary violinist, Daniel D. MOJA also offers an exciting afternoon of programming at the West Ashley Farmers Market on Wednesday, October 4 from 3pm to 7pm at Ackerman Park.

·         MOJA honors outstanding community leaders for their contributions to the quality of life and community service at the Community Tribute Luncheon on Saturday October 7. A full list of honorees is available at mojafestival.com.

·         The MOJA Finale in Hampton Park starts at 4pm on Sunday, October 8, providing a lively end to a vibrant festival. The stage lineup includes performances from Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa, playing a unique world beat blend of West African Yoruba music with western styles and Super Deluxe, a popular local cover band.


2017 MOJA Arts Festival Visual Arts:

·         Friday, September 30 from 4pm to 7pm, attend the MOJA Arts Festival Juried Art and Visual Arts Reception at City Gallery. Artists will be present to share their perspectives and inspiration.

·         The Annual MOJA Arts Festival Juried Art Exhibition features new works by regional artists on view at City Gallery throughout the festival.

·         The poster artist for the MOJA Arts Festival 2017 poster, Cedric Umoja, collaborates with Roni Nicole Henderson (film, photography), and Dogon Krigga (graphic design) to present Libation, exploring the recollection, remembrance, and celebration of the life and lifetimes of the Ancestors. On view at City Gallery through October 29.

·         Dance of the Ancestors: Egungun Masquerade focuses primarily on the Yoruba tradition of masquerade with artist Orisanmi Kehinde Odesanya and curated by Dr. Ade Ofunniyin. On view at City Gallery through October 29.



The MOJA Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary festival produced and directed by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the MOJA Planning Committee. The Festival highlights the many African-American and Caribbean contributions to western and world cultures. MOJA’s wide range of events include visual arts, music, dance, poetry, theatre, children’s activities, and free outdoor concerts and community celebrations. In addition to its myriad arts presentations, MOJA also includes an active and busy educational outreach component of workshops and performances in public schools.



Attendees are encouraged to follow the festival online to stay up to date with all the latest information, including additions, promotional offers and special pop-up events. To sign up for the MOJA Arts Festival e-newsletter, visit mojafestival.com or call the Office of Cultural Affairs at (843) 724-7305. Events will additionally be promoted via Facebook and Twitter.


MOJA tickets are on sale online at mojafestival.com and by phone through OvationTix at (866) 811-4111 (additional handling fees may apply). In-person ticket sales are available at the Office of Cultural Affairs, located at 75 Calhoun Street, Suite 3800, Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm and at the Dock Street Theatre, located at 135 Church Street, September 28-October 1 only, 12pm to 5pm.

Tickets for shows at the Gaillard Center are only available for purchase at the Gaillard Center Box Office Monday through Friday from 11am to 6pm, online at gaillardcenter.org or by phone at (843) 242-3099.

Tickets for shows at the Charleston Music Hall are only available for purchase at the Music Hall Box Office Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm, online at charlestonmusichall.com or by phone at (843) 853-2252.

For additional ticket and schedule information, call the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs at (843) 724-7305, email CulturalAffairs@charleston-sc.gov or visit mojafestival.com.

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