NBAF’s programs are aligned with our mission of discovering, promoting, presenting and celebrating the arts and the contributions of artists of African descent and are designed to nurture the creativity and support the aspirations of our youth, foster dialogue, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural artistic exchange and learning and designed to be accessible to audiences of all generations, cultural and economic backgrounds.

NBAF’s festival season, which runs from July to September, offers educational, entertaining, participatory and interactive performances, multimedia presentations, commissioned works, symposia and films, workshop/demonstrations, master classes, and public and education programs for adults, children and families within metro Atlanta, throughout Fulton County and the surrounding counties.

Dance was the focus of our 2015 season, focusing a historical lens through performances, films, workshops and a symposium, on dance beginning with the forms dominant through the 18th century i.e., the ring shout, the chica, juba, to those that emerged in the 20th and 21st centuries and continue today to have a global impact.


“Dance Across the Diaspora: A Historical Lens on a Black Cultural Movement”

Local and national experts and practitioners addressed the global history of dance from the 18th to the 21st centuries through a day-long symposium that emphasized “talk, conversation and demonstrations” through audience participation and dance demonstrations.
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Hosted by the High Museum of Art

GALLERY HOP I AND II  “Intersecting Disciplines: Visual/Art/Dance”
Intersecting visual art and dance at local galleries with gallery talks, artist talks, dance performances and demonstrations by instructors from Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment & Arts, LLC (AREA) featuring social, vernacular, modern and classical dance forms. Participating venues/galleries: Alan Avery Art Company, Arnika Dawkins Gallery, Gallery 72, Hammonds House Museum, Bill Lowe Gallery, ZuCot Gallery

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Bill Lowe Gallery
Zucot Gallery

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Alan Avery Art Company

Spotlight on dance and the dance companies, dancers and choreographers – the luminaries and trailblazers – who shaped and defined the discipline. Presentation of world-class performances, pre and post-performance conversations and masterclasses by Savion Glover, Step Afrika!, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company and Malpaso Dance Company.

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Savion Glover, master tap artist, performing SoLe Sanctuary, Rialto Center for the Arts
Savion Glover masterclass, High Museum of Art

The first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of “stepping” offered a groundbreaking merger of stepping, classical and gospel music in collaboration with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra and the Alpharetta-based St. James UMC Sanctuary Choir for their performance of the new musical score Symphony in Step.

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Step Afrika!, Center Stage
Masterclass (Youth Engagement Series), Sylvan Hills Middle School

SPOTLIGHT SERIES Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company
A leading dance institution of national and global acclaim, celebrated its 30th anniversary In Atlanta with a special selection from its repertory: The Subtle One, Grace, Why You Follow and March.

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Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Ferst Center for the Arts
Ronald K. Brown, Masterclass, (Youth Engagement Series), Sylvan Hills Middle School

SPOTLIGHT SERIES Malpaso Dance Company
A sensational modern dance company whose powerful performances embodies the passion that defines Cuban life and its rich dance tradition. Malpaso performed three dances by different choreographers to close out the 2015 program season: Under Fire (2015), Despedida (2015), Por Que Sigues (Why You Follow) (2014).

Malpaso Dance Company, Ferst Center for the Arts
“The State of Dance in Cuba Today” Panel Discussion, Grace C. Stanislaus, NBAF Executive Director; Dr. Joan Burroughs, scholar; Fernando Saez Carvajal, Executive Director, Malpaso, Richards Gallery, Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech

FILM SERIES “Representing Us: Black Dance in Film”
A curated film series presented in partnership with Morehouse College Cinema Television & Emerging Media Studies (CTEMS) program focused a critical and historical lens on dance through screenings and discussions of vintage and modern films. Featured films: Stormy Weather (1948), Spike Lee’s School Daze (1995) and David LaChapelle’s documentary Rize (2005)

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Post-screening conversation with Professor Stephane Dunn,
head of the CTEMS program, and Director David LaChapelle

GALA “For The Love of Dance”
The premier event of the Atlanta summer social season presented in a spectacular venue where hundreds of supporters and fun-loving patrons came together to celebrate and to help sustain NBAF’s operations, programs and rich cultural legacy.
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