Carnegie Hall's Afrofuturism Festival Continues in March 2022
Concerts in Zankel Hall Include
Chimurenga Renaissance and
Fatoumata Diawara on March 4;
Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble
on March 19;
and Theo Croker on March 26
Citywide Festival Also Features
Exhibitions, Films, Dance, and More,
Presented by Leading Partner Institutions,
Plus Just-Announced Event Exploring the
Career and Work of George Clinton
(New York, NY)—This March, Carnegie Hall continues its Afrofuturism citywide festival that explores the thriving aesthetic and cultural movement that looks to the future through a Black cultural lens, intersecting music, visual art, literature, politics, science fiction, and technology. At Carnegie Hall, festival concerts by celebrated artists explore Afrofuturism’s boundless sonic essence through jazz, funk, hip-hop, electronic music, and more.
In addition, more than 70 leading cultural institutions from across New York City and beyond extend the scope of the festival with a diverse array of multidisciplinary public programming that explores African and African diasporic philosophies, speculative fiction, mythology, comics. The festival partner events include a just-announced talk exploring the career and work of George Clinton, as well as exhibitions, films, dance, and more.
March festival performances at Carnegie Hall begin with a double bill featuring Chimurenga Renaissance and Fatoumata Diawara on Friday, March 4 at 9:30 p.m. Comprised of Tendai “Baba” Maraire and guitarist Hussein Kalonji, Chimurenga Renaissance brilliantly blends experimental hip-hop with traditional African music to create a captivating and consistently surprising “trans-Atlantic mélange” (NPR) that speaks to a range of postmodern and politically conscious sensibilities. Also featured on the program is Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and actress Fatoumata Diawara—one of the most relevant female voices of the new generation of African artists—who covers a gamut of styles from blues, funk, and rock to syncopated Afro-pop, always honoring her past, but with a sound and message that confidently looks to the future. (Zankel Hall)
Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble takes the stage on Saturday, March 19 at 10:00 p.m. A creative visionary, Grammy Award-nominated composer, world-class DJ, and founder of seminal record label Planet E Communications, Carl Craig is an elder statesman in the world of electronic music production and performance—a true legend of the genre. The common thread that runs through Craig’s broad musical canon is a resounding fascination with futurism, as embodied by the Synthesizer Ensemble in which he imbues a flexible and collaborative human touch into the more synth-driven, pulsing traits of techno. (Zankel Hall)
Grammy Award-nominated trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Theo Croker closes out the festival concerts at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, March 26 at 9:00 p.m. with a performance that blends post-bop, funk, and electronic music in a sonic celebration of Afro-origin. As showcased in his new album BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST, Croker explores the forgotten hero’s journey toward self-actualization within the universal origins of Blackness. (Zankel Hall)
To create this imaginative festival, Carnegie Hall’s programming team brought together an Afrofuturism Curatorial Council, made up of five of the most knowledgeable authorities in the Afrofuturism field—Reynaldo Anderson, King James Britt, Louis Chude-Sokei, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Ytasha L. Womack—to help shape the festival’s line-up of events.
“In developing this festival over the past several years, it’s been exciting to see how Afrofuturism embraces such a diverse array of art forms and the intrinsic role it plays in pop culture,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “With the incredibly valuable guidance of our Afrofuturism Curatorial Council and in collaboration with our festival partners, we look forward to taking audiences on a vivid journey into this forward-looking theme. With Afrofuturism, we invite people to join us on a journey of discovery, to be inspired, and to imagine new and empowering visions of the future.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF AFROFUTURISM FESTIVAL PARTNER EVENTS IN MARCH
Afrofuturism festival partner programming features a diverse array of events in person and online in multiple genres presented by diverse cultural and academic institutions across the city and beyond. For a full list of festival partners, please see below.
Funk-tastic: The Art and Futuristic Vision of George Clinton and Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky
March 1 at 7:00 p.m., Online: bsam-art.com
Presented by Black Speculative Arts Movement and the Department of Africology and African American Studies, Temple University, this roundtable discussion explores the career and work of George Clinton in relation to Afrofuturism, his artistic influence on the genre and connection to the hip-hop motifs and Afrofuturist work of Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky. The discussion also touches on Clinton’s current success as a visual artist and how he linked his “flow” as a futuristic Funk innovator to his artistic practice. DJ Spooky discusses his work and current projects with art and education institutions in Africa.
Afrofuturist Cinema: Infinity and Possibility … Afrofuturist Short Films
March 2 at 6:30 p.m., New York Film Academy, 17 Battery Place, New York, NY,
This event—available in person and online—showcases four Afrofuturist films: Opal and Battledream Chronicle by Alain Bidard, Hardware by David Kirkman, and The Diselfunk Show by Tim and Jim Fielder. A post-screening panel moderated by Randall Dottin, chair of screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, explores the impulse and desire to create Afrofuturist cinema.
Can Science Fiction Bring the World Together?
March 2 at 7:30 p.m.,
For this program, the China Institute welcomes authors from a variety of global futurism literary traditions who are redefining science fiction on the world stage and using the magical power of storytelling to promote cross-cultural understanding and strengthen the global community.
AI to the Future: Why African Leaders Matter
March 3 at 12:00 p.m., Online: facebook.com/theafricacenter
Presented by The Africa Center, AI to the Future: Why African Leaders Matter explores how Africans on the continent and in the diaspora are contributing to the field of artificial intelligence and building a pipeline of talent of people of African descent. Speakers include Mutale Nkonde, Jackie Mwaniki, and Vukosi Marivate, moderated by Uzodinma Iweala.
Black Speculative Literature: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Race, and Reality
March 7-28 (Mondays) at 6:30 p.m., Online: thebrooklyninstitute.com
This four-week online course explores the major works of Black Speculative Literature, thinking about the meaning of a literary field that assumes the inadequacy of reality—or realism—as the sole category for remembering, thinking, and living in the 21st century.
Exploring Black Star: An Instagram Live Event
March 9 at 12:00 p.m., Online: instagram.com/soi128
Presented by the Society of Illustrators, this event features Eric Glover and Arielle Jovellanos, the creative team behind the Abrams Megascope book Black Star, in conversation on Instagram Live. Topics include adapting a screenplay into a graphic novel, inspirations, and the process for bringing the book to life.
Afrofuturism and the Francophone World
March 11 at 3:00 p.m.,
Centro Cívico Cultural Dominicano, 619 West 145th Street, New York, NY
Emerging artists, designers, and filmmakers from the West Indies and French-speaking African countries showcase 21st-century contemporary expressions of Afrofuturism, emphasizing how important it is to integrate, educated, and share Black creativity within the entire diaspora to the world. Presented by the Department of Africology and African American Studies, Temple University, and the United African Association, this one-day symposium will feature a fashion show, art exhibition, and roundtable discussion on the phenomenon of Afrofuturism in the Black Francophone community.
March 17 at 7:00 p.m., Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., New York, NY
Loosely inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are children’s book, WILD follows a young boy’s journey as he celebrates his 14th birthday while incarcerated. Frequently harnessing the power of his imagination, he transports himself to an alternate universe where he is not treated like a wild animal. This cutting-edge ballet utilizes physical movement to illustrate and honor the history of Black bodies moving through space while encountering oppression.
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE
March 22-27, various times, The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY
Returning to the Joyce for their 2022 home season, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE offers a compelling program, bringing a spiritual awareness that touches the human heart. Acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown utilizes music and movement rich in thematic content drawn from the African and African American diaspora. His works are performed with a depth of physicality that reflects Brown’s meditations on cultural legacy, community, and socio-political history. The brilliance of Ron’s blended style is revealed in works such as “Upside Down,” “Come Ye,” featuring the music of artist-activists Oumou Sangare, Fela Kuti, and Nina Simone; and the long-awaited return of the hauntingly beautiful work “Ebony Magazine to a Village” with original music by longtime EVIDENCE collaborator Wunmi Olaiya.
Luedji Luna: Bom Mesmo É Estar Debaixo D’Água
March 25 at 7:00 p.m., Online: as-coa.org/music
This online event from the Americas Society features singer and composer Luedji Luna’s music, which combines Brazilian sounds, African rhythms, jazz, and socially conscious lyrics related to Black identity. For this presentation, Luna presents a new video of her Latin Grammy-nominated album Bom Mesmo É Estar Debaixo D’Água (What’s Really Good Is Being Underwater).
Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room
Ongoing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room transforms a 19th-century domestic interior into a space untethered by time. Like traditional period rooms, the installation is a fabrication of a domestic space that assembles furnishings and works of art to represent a fixed moment in time. However, this new space unsettles the very idea of a period room by embracing the African and African diasporic belief that the past, present, and future are interconnected. Powered by Afrofuturism, this speculative home is activated through vision, sound, and storytelling, furnished with a range of works from The Met collection—from Bamileke beadwork and 19th-century American ceramics to contemporary art and design—that foreground generations of Black creativity.
Afrofuturism Festival Event Listings, Video, and Partner List
Click here for a complete Afrofuturism festival event schedule as of February 2022.
Click here to view the Afrofuturism festival video including commentary from members of the festival’s Afrofuturism Curatorial Council.
Click here for a complete list of Afrofuturism festival partners.
Support for Afrofuturism is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation and Bank of America.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Support for the visual arts components of the Afrofuturism festival has been provided by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.
About Carnegie Hall Festivals
Carnegie Hall’s large-scale, citywide festivals bring together performances and events designed to stimulate the curiosity of audiences, offering them the opportunity to explore compelling and important topics. In partnership with many of the greatest cultural institutions in New York City and beyond, the Hall’s festivals feature programming that creates journeys of discovery across the spectrum of the arts, including music, dance, theater, film, literature, and more.
Carnegie Hall’s first major international festival, Berlin in Lights, was presented in November 2007, exploring the vibrant city that is Berlin today. It was followed by two citywide festivals examining the dynamic culture and distinctive history of American music—Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds in fall 2008 and Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy in spring 2009. Ancient Paths, Modern Voices, exploring Chinese music and culture took place in fall 2009. These were followed by JapanNYC, an ambitious two-part festival in December 2010 and spring 2011; Voices from Latin America in November/December 2012; Vienna: City of Dreams in February/March 2014; Ubuntu: Music and Arts of South Africa in October/November 2014; La Serenissima festival in February 2017, celebrating the music and arts from the Venetian Republic; The ’60s: The Years That Made America in 2018, exploring the turbulent decade that was the 1960s through the lens of arts and culture, including music's role as a meaningful vehicle to inspire social change; Migrations: The Making of America in 2019, tracing the journeys of people from different origins and backgrounds who helped to shape and influence the evolution of American culture; Voices of Hope—the Hall’s first-ever online festival in spring 2021; and the upcoming Afrofuturism festival in February–March 2022.
About Carnegie Hall
Since it opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall has set the international standard for musical excellence as the aspirational destination for the world’s finest artists. From Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Mahler, and Bartók to George Gershwin, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Judy Garland, and The Beatles, music making by a long list of artists representing the best of every genre has filled Carnegie Hall over the years. The Hall’s unique history has grown out of its stunning acoustics, the beauty of its three concert halls, and its location in New York City, where it has played a central role in helping to elevate the city into one of the world’s great cultural capitals. The Hall presents a wide range of performances each season on its three stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, intimate Weill Recital Hall, and innovative Zankel Hall—including concert series curated by acclaimed artists and composers; citywide festivals featuring collaborations with leading NYC cultural institutions; orchestral performances, chamber music, new music concerts, and recitals; and the best in jazz, global, and popular music. Complementing these performance activities, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute creates wide-reaching music education and social impact programs that annually serve more than 800,000 people in the New York City area, nationally, and internationally, and even more through a growing number of initiatives online.
For more information on Carnegie Hall’s 2021–2022 season, please visit carnegiehall.org
Afrofuturism festival artwork in header by Quentin VerCetty
Photos and artwork: Chimurenga Renaissance by Kelly O, Fatoumata Diawara by Aida Muluneh, Carl Craig by Cristian Di Stefano, Theo Croker by Obidi Nzeribe, George Clinton by Black Kirby, Exploring Black Star by Arielle Jovellanos, and Wild by Matthew Murphy.
For high resolutions images of Afrofuturism festival artists, please contact the Carnegie Hall Public Relations Office at 212-903-9750 or email@example.com.
Tickets to Afrofuturism festival concerts are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.
For Carnegie Hall presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Weil Music Institute and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.
In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
Tickets for events held in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing can be purchased exclusively by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org they are not available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office.
For tickets to Afrofuturism festival partner events, please contact the specific venue. Please note: To support a safe reopening for in-person events and in accordance with the advice of medical and public health experts, everyone entering Carnegie Hall will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of February 14, 2022, everyone coming to Carnegie Hall will be required to show proof of full vaccination as well as proof that they are fully up-to-date on CDC-recommended boosters, based on their eligibility. In addition, everyone on Carnegie Hall’s premises will be required to wear a properly fitting mask over the nose and mouth except when eating or drinking in designated areas.
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