The annual MOJA Arts Festival, a celebration of African-American and Caribbean culture, begins on Thursday, September 29, 2022. The 11-day festival includes a variety of performances, art displays and educational outreach.
Moja, a Swahili word meaning “One,” is the appropriate name for this festival celebration of harmony among all people in our community.
The festival highlights the many African-American and Caribbean contributions to western and world cultures. MOJA’s wide range of events include visual arts, classical music, dance, gospel, jazz, poetry, R&B music, storytelling, theatre, children’s activities, traditional crafts, ethnic food, among others. MOJA also includes an active and busy educational outreach component of workshops in the public schools and outreach in community centers.
For a full calendar of events and online ticketing, visit www.mojafestival.com Some events are free to attend, others are paid ticketed events at affordable prices.
- Opening Day Parade: The parade on September 29 will begin at 6 p.m. at Marion Square. The parade will continue down King Street, through Market Street and end at the U.S. Custom House. The parade is free to attend.
- Juried Art Exhibition: From September 29 – October 9 from 12 – 5 p.m., this free-to-attend exhibition at the City Gallery on Prioleau Street will include the recent work of artists across South Carolina featuring painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and photography.
- Reggae at Brittlebank: On September 30 beginning at 6 p.m., this free-to-attend event at Brittlebank Park on Lockwood Drive will feature internationally known reggae artist Monsoon, as well as South Carolina reggae artist the Ras Bonghi Reggae Allstars, featuring Papa Robbie and Ric Mystic. This event will include food vendors and artwork from local artists.
- Black Biz on the Block: On October 1 beginning at 1 p.m., this free-to-attend event at Philip Simmons Park on Columbus Street provides a space for black-owned small businesses to showcase their products and services. Entertainment will be set up in the Hampstead Mall Park and feature First Class Band as well as South Carolina reggae legends Reggae Infinity.
- An Evening of Jazz with Momentum and Da’rrell Ravenell: On October 1 beginning at 7 p.m., this ticketed event at the historic Dock Street Theatre on Church Street will include MOJA Arts Festival favorites Da’rrell Ravenell & Peace of Mind Band. Charleston’s Jazz’s own Momentum will open the evening.
- Lowcountry Voices presents Hymnology II: On October 3 beginning at 7 p.m., this free-to-attend event features Lowcountry Voices and special guest Desmond Pringle at Greater St. Luke AME, 78 Gordon St.
- Harambee Dance Company: On October 5 beginning at 9:30 a.m., this free-to-attend event at the Charleston County Public Library on Calhoun Street will feature a performance by the Harambee Dance Company. The company will premiere a new MOJA-commissioned work on October 6 at 8 p.m. at a ticketed performance at the Dock Street Theatre on Church Street. Harambee’s performances incorporate traditional and contemporary dance, creating a new style of African Dance.
- Jazz on King Block Party: On October 6 beginning at 6 p.m., this free-to-attend event between Ann and King streets will feature outdoor dining, shopping and musical performances by Tonya Nicole and Latoya Renea. Visual artist and live soul painter kolpeace will top off the event with a live painting performance.
- WONDERVERSE: The Music of Stevie Wonder: On October 7 beginning at 8 p.m., this ticketed event at Festival Hall on Beaufain Street will include performances of the classic hits by Stevie Wonder. Charlton Singleton and Friends will draw from Stevie Wonder’s catalog of songs.
- MOJA Finale: On October 9 beginning at 11 a.m., this day-long, free-to-attend event at Hampton Park on Mary Murray Boulevard will close out the Festival with a mainstage tribute performance recognizing Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner.
This year’s poster artist is Amiri Geuka Farris. Mr. Farris is a contemporary, multidisciplinary artist who uses a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, video, performance and installation.
As a contemporary African-American male artist, he blurs the boundaries between abstraction and representation, sculpture and printmaking, and contemporary and traditional.
Farris received his Master of Fine Art in painting, with his Bachelor of Fine Art in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Mr. Farris’ work has been featured in more than 50 solo exhibitions and juried museum exhibitions internationally, including the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian and U.S. embassies.