West African Cultural Festival

Sunday, Jun 03, 10 am to 5 pm
At CMA, 103 Charlton Street, New York
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Join us on Sunday, June 3, for a celebration of the culture of West Africa. There will be workshops inspired by traditional and contemporary arts practices of West Africa along with a children’s book reading in partnership with the Hudson Park Branch of the New York Public Library at 11:00 am and a musical performance by Gambian Kora player, Salieu Suso at 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm.

Workshops include:

Adejoke Tugbiyele Inspired Wire Sculptures in Fine Arts, Looking at artist, Adejoke Tugbiyele, visitors will create wire sculptures with different fabrics and fibers to explore sculpting with different textures. Tugbiyele’s work like “Heart,” “Crown,” and “Throne” combine various materials to create sculptures that are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and the Yoruba religion, while using symbols of strength and power. She believes art can heal and transform, and the pieces are also used during her performances. Today’s workshop will ask young artists to experiment with different materials to build their own sculptures of strength.

Njideka Akunyili Illustrations in Fine Arts, Inspired by the work of celebrated contemporary artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby, CMA guests will design and create their own 3-Dimensional illustrations of a place that they call home. Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a Nigerian-American mixed media artist who primarily combines collage, painting, printmaking and photo in her works about defining the idea of “home” across cultural barriers.


Iconic Animals of West Africa in the Clay Bar, In celebration of our West African cultural festival, today at the Clay Bar we will be sculpting animals native to West Africa including elephants, lions, cheetah, buffalo, hippo, chimpanzees, and many more!

Upcycling Animations Inspired by El Anatsui in the Media Lab, Inspired by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, young artists will create collaborative animations using upcycled found materials and textiles.  We will bring these materials to life via pattern, weaving, and tempo and play back our animated clips!

Drum Beats: Exploring the Music of West Africa in the Soundbooth, Come explore the unique and diverse music of West Africa! String instruments and drums are some of the popular instruments you may find in this country’s music! Young artists will create a collaborative track using our instruments and sound recording software!


Layered Patterned Fringe Tapestries in the Gallery, Inspired by Malian artist, Abdoulaye Konaté’s textile installations, families will create their own layered pattern fringe paper tapestries. Konaté uses traditional Malian fabrics to create large colorful patterned tapestries. CMA invites visitors to use construction paper, mixed media materials, and markers to create layered patterned fringe inspired by the artist’s use of West African fabric.

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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