The Big Read Kickoff Celebration is the Gantt's official start of the Big Read, a five-month initiative designed to inform, engage, and promote literacy in our community with a series of free programming.
The Big Read Kickoff features a festive dance performance and presentation by the KanKouran West African Dance Company to set the tone. A mayoral proclamation declaring February 23 as Charlotte's Big Read Day will be presented during the evening. The celebration also includes a poetry performance by the Gantt's Golden Year Poet Laureate Bluz Rogers. Guests will receive a copy of the book that has inspired the entire initiative, Homegoing, by novelist Yaa Gyasi (books will be provided until they are no longer available).
About The Dance Company:
KanKouran was formed in 1983, in Washington, DC, by Artistic Director Assane Konte and former Director of Music, Abdou Kounta, who grew up together in Dakar, Senegal. After many months of recruiting, training and performing at local venues, the Company presented its first full-length concert, "A Visit to Africa" in 1985. And with that performance, an institution was born. Although many dancers and drummers have come and gone, to this day KanKouran continues under the leadership of its co-founder/Artistic Director, Assane Konte. The company’s outstanding reputation has spawned numerous alliances/collaborations throughout the United States and abroad. They include: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Smithsonian Institution, National Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, California Center for the Arts, Howard University, Model Secondary School for the Arts at Gallaudet University, American University, George Mason University, University of Pittsburgh, and Virginia Technical Institute. On an international level: Silesian Dance Theater and the Dance Festival Krakow in Poland; Maui Dance Council, Hawaii; Japan Cultural Arts Center, Tokyo; the Island Center for the Performing Arts, St. Croix and the Emancipation Day Committee of Trinidad and Tobago.
This event is free and open to all ages/backgrounds.
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