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Afrofuturism

Two Months. 80+ Events. One Citywide Festival.

Carnegie Hall presented its citywide Afrofuturism festival in February and March 2022. Across a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall and more than 80 partner events presented by leading cultural organizations, this historic festival explored the ever-expansive aesthetic and practice of Afrofuturism, in which music—including jazz, funk, R&B, Afrobeat, hip-hop, and electronic—intersects with a boundless world of visual arts, science fiction, technology, and more.

View Press Release

Take a journey to the world of Afrofuturism, a thriving aesthetic movement rooted in the cultural histories of the African diaspora—where music, visual arts, science fiction, and technology intersect to imagine alternate realities and a liberated future viewed through the lens of Black cultures. Meet the five leading Afrofuturism experts brought together to share their passion and knowledge in creating this visionary festival—King James Britt, Louis Chude-Sokei, Reynaldo Anderson, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Ytasha L. Womack.

Performance Highlights

Created with the guidance of a visionary Curatorial Council, the festival celebrated the thoroughly multidisciplinary nature of Afrofuturism, with concerts by Grammy Award–winning producer, composer, and rapper Flying Lotus; Afrofuturist innovators of the Sun Ra Arkestra (who made their first Carnegie Hall appearance in 1968) with polymuse Kelsey Lu and poet, composer, and Black Quantum futurist Moor Mother; electronic music legend Carl Craig with his Synthesizer Ensemble; bandleader and trumpeter Theo Croker; and enlightening double-bill concerts featuring Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble and Angel Bat Dawid’s Autophysiopsychic Millennium; as well as experimental hip-hop group Chimurenga Renaissance paired with singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara.

The Weill Music Institute hosted a wealth of educational events and activities for audiences of all age groups, in addition to presenting concerts such as Make a Joyful Noize with Soul Science Lab, AfroCosmicMelatopia with Mwenso and the Shakes, and Cosmic Riddem, Esoteric Rambunction & Eclectic Blue Cheer~Conduction #5 with Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber.

Meet the Curatorial Council

Learn about the five leading Afrofuturism experts Carnegie Hall brought together to create this visionary festival.

View Photo Highlights

Exciting events took place at Carnegie Hall and partner venues across the city. Explore the sights of the festival through this image gallery.

View Video Highlights

Relive the sights and sounds of Afrofuturism through select video recordings from the festival.

Visual Arts Highlights

Throughout the festival, numerous artistic mediums and modes of expression came together to form uniquely Afrofuturist messages and aesthetics. An ongoing exhibition in Zankel Hall—The Black Angel of History: Myth-Science, Metamodernism, and the Metaverse—represents one of the festival's significant visual-arts showcases. Explore the exhibition online on Google Arts and Culture.

For the first time in its citywide festival history, Carnegie Hall also commissioned a visual artist—self-described visual griot, “artpreneur,” educator, “artivist,” and “ever-growing interstellar tree” Quentin VerCetty—to create a signature festival artwork.

The Black Angel of History

The Black Angel of History exhibition is an analysis of visual culture and technology within the genre of Afrofuturism.

Explore Afrofuturist Artist Quentin VerCetty’s AstroSankofa

Learn about Carnegie Hall’s first-ever commissioned festival artwork by visual artist Quentin VerCetty.

Meet Afrofuturist Artist Quentin VerCetty

Learn about the first-ever visual artist commissioned by Carnegie Hall to create a signature work for a festival.

Online Resources

To learn more about Afrofuturism, visit our articles collection for artist profiles; a glossary of Afrofuturist terms; lists of recommended music, literature, and film; and more. The articles commissioned for this festival are exceptional resources as both an introduction and a deep dive into the world of Afrofuturism.

Listen to the Afrofuturism Playlist

Listen to our Afrofuturism festival playlist on Apple Music and Spotify.

Festival Partners

Abrams Books
The Africa Center
African American Future Society
AfriFuTrinity: Quantum Cosmic Futures
Afro Latin Jazz Alliance
ALL ARTS
American Composers Orchestra
Americas Society
Apollo Theater
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) [Chicago, IL]
Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts [Riverside, CA]
Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival [Chicago, IL]
Black Kirby
Black Pot Mojo Arts
Black Speculative Arts Movement [Philadelphia, PA]
Blacknuss Network [Chicago, IL]
Blacktronika, University of California San Diego Department of Music
Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
Brooklyn Museum
Centro Cívico Cultural Dominicano
Chicago History Museum
The Children's Art Carnival
China Institute
The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center
Congo Square Preservation Society [New Orleans, LA]
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Department of Africology and African American Studies, Temple University [Philadelphia, PA]
Department of Philosophy and Black Studies at the City College of New York
Department of Philosophy at Lehman College, CUNY
Department of Philosophy at Manhattan College
Dieselfunk Studios
Dramatists Guild of America
Fabulize Magazine
Google Arts & Culture
Harlem Stage
HarperCollins
Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture

ISE-DA
Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University
Jazzmobile
Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project
The Joyce Theater
The Juilliard School
Keyes Art Projects
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Literati
Louis Armstrong House Museum & Archives
Maysles Documentary Center
MCC Theater
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
National Black Theatre
National Queer Theater
National Sawdust
New York Film Academy
New York Live Arts
Otherworld Theatre Company [Chicago, IL]
Park Avenue Armory
Public Records
RefractionDAO
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Sistah Scifi
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings [Washington DC]
Society of Illustrators
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Studio Museum in Harlem
Studio Visceral
Teatro LATEA
United African Association
Universal Hip Hop Museum
University of California, Riverside [Riverside, CA]
URB ALT Media
West Harlem Arts Collaborative
Willie Mae Rock Camp
Women in Comics Collective International

Public support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Save America’s Treasures grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its partnership with the National Park Service.

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