Today’s MOJA Festival report courtesy of our Carolina Lowcountry guest blogger based in The Holy City.
Charleston myths, architectural structure and color, art and music are heavily influenced by the Caribbean culture first introduced to the area hundreds of years ago. These traditions have continued to show their presence over the centuries and are recognized annually at the MOJA Festival. The Swahili term ‘moja’ means ‘one’. Moja is the perfect description for this event, which recognizes the many contributions of African-American and Caribbean culture in the Lowcountry. It’s one event that encompasses the visual arts, music, dance, poetry, narratives, theatre, food and crafts that these cultures have influenced.
The 2010 MOJA Festival is celebrating 27 years of tradition, and the events schedule is packed with education and exciting events. The Southeast Tourism Society has recognized the festival as one of the top 20 events to attend for the past several years. It will run from Thursday, September 23 to Sunday, October 23. Events are sponsored by the City of Charleston Cultural Affairs Office and will be held at various locations in the downtown area.
While some may see the festival as solely for entertainment,
the sponsoring committee is using it as an opportunity to educate participants about the cultures and to promote harmony amongst all cultures. Workshops will be held in public school and through senior outreach programs to educate.
Over half of the events will be free of charge, and the remaining at reasonable costs for any attendee (ranging from $5-$35). Some of the festival’s highlights include an art exhibition and reception, a theatre performance of “Blues for an Alabama Sky”, art and poetry exhibit “I-8-Tee,”
sweetgrass basket competition and exhibit, Caribbean Street Parade, Reggae block dance, Heritage Day, jazz artist Jonathan Butler and many more.