Kwanzaa, a celebration of African-American heritage, continues to grow in popularity across the country. DFW offers a variety of events that promote African American culture and education, and showcase immense talent. Enjoy young students singing hymns, gospel and classical music. Learn more about the rich culture in area communities. Kwanzaa begins Dec. 26 and ends on New Year’s Day, a cultural holiday rather than a religious one that focuses on unity, self-determination, responsibility, collaborative economics, purpose, creativity and devotion, and it’s all right here in Dallas Fort Worth.
20th Annual Christmas: Kwanzaa Concert
650 S. Griffin St.
Dallas, TX 75270
Price: $5 student performance/$10 public performance
Dates: student performance, Dec. 14 – 10 a.m.; public performance, Dec. 15 – 8 p.m.
Every year, the Black Academy of Arts and Letters welcomes the holidays with its Annual Kwanzaa Concert. The Naomi Bruton Theatre main stage is filled with praises for the season with uplifting spiritual, gospel and classical music. The Townview High School Band will perform with the high school choirs of South Oak Cliff, Lincoln, Carter, Kimball and Umphrey Lee Elementary. Purchase advance tickets on the Black Academy of Arts and Letters website or through Ticketmaster.
Pan African Connection Bookstore, Art Gallery & Resource Center
828 4th Ave.
Dallas, TX 75226
Pan African Connection Bookstore, Art Gallery & Resource Center offers the widest selection of African arts, fashion and cultural artifacts in North Texas. With an impressive array of books, jewelry, clothing, cloth, educational puzzles, natural soaps, furniture and art, it is the perfect source for Kwanzaa. Also on Dec. 9 and Dec. 23, the bookstore offers Children’s African History and Culture Classes. Students learn about African symbols, art and history — the perfect way to kick off Kwanzaa this year.
2501 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 550
Dallas, TX 75219
Big Thought, in partnership with the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Dallas Independent School District offers innovative learning programs city wide for school-age children. This year, the Kwanzaa events will be held in five Dallas public libraries. Big Thought teachers Alfreda Rollins and Melody Bells will celebrate Kwanzaa through music, dance, storytelling, theater and art with families throughout the community.
Forest Green Branch
9015 Forest Lane
Dallas, TX 75243
Big Thought Performer Alfreda Rollins celebrates Kwanzaa with wonderful storytelling and more.
2951 S. Hampton Road
Dallas, TX 75224
Highland Hills Branch
3624 Simpson Stuart Road
Dallas, TX 75241
Big Thought Performer Melody Bell brings Kwanzaa to life with her dramatic storytelling at the Highland Hills Library.
White Rock Hills Branch
9150 Ferguson Road
Dallas, TX 75228
Date: Dec. 28 – 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Big Thought Performer Melody Bell performs during Kwanzaa at the White Rock Hills Library.
6006 Everglade Road
Dallas, TX 75227
Date: Dec. 29 – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Big Thought Performer Alfreda Rollins entertains and educates during Kwanzaa.
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Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s “Winter Series”
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
2400 Flora St.
Dallas, TX 75201
Price: from $15 to $55
Dates: Dec. 8 to 11
A good way to celebrate Kwanzaa is to enjoy the Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s season opener “Winter Series.” The company’s performance home is in the heart of the AT& T Performing Arts Center at the Wyly Theatre. The series begins with “Puremovement,” a commissioned work by national hip-hop artist Rennie Harris. The piece expresses universal themes that extend beyond racial boundaries. Also enjoy a performance by renowned choreographer David Parsons. Duke Ellington created an original score for the group’s next solo work “Reflections in D,” choreographed by Alvin Ailey. Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams, the acclaimed dance theater produces contemporary dance at the highest artistic level.
African American Museum Exhibit “Rising Up”
3536 Grand Ave.
Dallas, TX 75210
Price: $5 general admission/$2 children 12 and younger
Dates: now through Feb. 28, 2013
Celebrated African American artist Hale Woodruff’s Murals “Rising Up” from Talladega College are on exhibit at the African American Museum in Fair Park. This exhibit is perfect for the Kwanzaa holiday. Recently restored, these treasured works of art represent significant events in African American heritage. In 1938, Alabama’s Talladega College commissioned the famous artist to paint six huge murals portraying the Amistad mutiny and the founding of Talladega College.
Marilee Vergati, is an international award winning art director and writer. As a native Dallasite and fifth generation Texan, she brings a unique insight to her beloved state, its events, arts, ecology and people. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.