NCNW salutes Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune

The National Council of Negro Women, Rockford Section will present a Youth Performing Arts Festival on Saturday, Aug. 6, on the grounds and stage of Ellis Arts Academy, Chestnut and Central Avenue, beginning at 10 a.m. Youth ages 3 to 19 years will showcase their talents in the areas of music, drama, dance and visual arts. This is the second annual festival.

Special guests include Richard Meeks, Rockford’s own Master Storyteller, and the Najwa Dance Corps of Chicago for the day’s activities. The Rockford Area Arts Council’s ArtsPlace Drama Team, directed by Geraldine Carter, will open the festivities.

Najwa Dance Corps has performed nationally and internationally, receiving wide acclaim from television, film and stage productions. Since its inception in 1977, they have brought their sterling performances to museums, colleges, universities, elementary and high schools, art and cultural festivals, parades and corporate gatherings. The company performs a variety of dance styles and set pieces such as the historical dance play titled Kabiring to Now—an exciting mixture of dance, drama and music that portrays the history of dance styles from early Africa to the present. They will perform at noon and, with the assistance of Rockford’s Ngoma Dance Troupe, will present a workshop in the art of African and African-American dance styles for and with the audience.

At 6 p.m. on the stage inside Ellis Arts Academy, youth performers will include the following: Allen Chapel AME Church Liturgical Praise Team; Asha & Daniella—Spanish Hip-Hop Dancers; Jessica Benson, vocalist; the Children’s Theater Project; the Flores Family Singers; “G” Little Steppers of St. Paul COGIC; the Living Word “Angels”; Rihana Nelson, dancer; Ngoma Dance Troupe; Northeast Christian Church Drama Team; the Spirit of David Praise Dancers of St. Paul COGIC; Unlimited Praise of Pilgrim Baptist Church; Amanda Williams, vocalist; The Young Eagles Soaring Inspirational Choir of SOGN Enterprises.

This event is sponsored in part by RAAC, AMCORE Bank, UTC, the Rockford Park District, RACVB, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and many individuals, merchants and businesses who contributed gifts.

From the Aug. 3-9, 2005, issue

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