San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP), San Diego Urban Warriors Inc. and the African American Advisory Council of San Diego REP announced today the schedule for the 30th Annual San Diego Kuumba Fest. Curated by festival Artistic Director Dajahn Blevins, the 2022 Kuumba Fest will take place both in person (and virtually) at the San Diego Repertory Theatre February 24 – 27, 2022.
Founded in 1993 by Blevins, Kuumba Fest is San Diego's longest running and premier celebration of African-American expression, culture and heritage. Kuumba (Swahili for “creativity”) Fest brings together community leaders, local performers and celebrities for an annual audience of nearly 5,000. From gospel to hip-hop and theater to dance, San Diego’s Kuumba Fest presents a wide showcase of arts that celebrate Black American culture in all its variety. Kuumba Fest offers an annual three-day festival that includes educational workshops, hip-hop dance and speech competitions, performances of plays, Late Nite Live (San Diego’s version of Late Night at the Apollo), and as always, a gospel concert finale. An African Market Place featuring arts and crafts for sale by local vendors, annually presented in the Lyceum Theatres lobbies.
The festival opens Thursday, February 24th at 4pm with the Black Artist Reception and Party with a Point. Friday, February 25th evening brings the annual Night of Positive Images honoring and celebrating Black ancestry and community. Saturday will feature drumming and dance performances and workshops and a spoken word poetry competition. The festival concludes Sunday with a panel discussion about Media & Arts role in continuing the call for Justice and Equity as well as Hot Gospel Play and Gospel Concert
About Kuumba Festival
San Diego has a rich and vibrant African American culture. In order to survive and prosper, the Black community has always used its creativity for motivation, collective work, encouraging responsibility and self-empowerment. Artistic exposure plays a vital role in the African American communities’ journey for expression, healing and self-determination. San Diego Urban Warriors Inc. and the African American Advisory Council of the San Diego Repertory Theatre have utilized arts for over 28 years with ongoing edu-tainment, programs in behavior guidance, health education and cultural enrichment which incorporates prevention, intervention and ongoing creative support.
Each year, the City of San Diego is invited to embrace and celebrate San Diego’s diverse and provocative Black heritage and culture at the Kuumba Festival which is celebrated the last week of February.
Kuumba Festival celebrates the positive lifestyle changes made over the year, provides cultural resources in the African Market Place, positive powerful healing images and spiritual celebrations for the entire family.
Since 1993, Kuumba Fest has been presented at the Lyceum Theatre by Urban Warriors and the African American Advisory Council for San Diego REP. In 2021, San Diego Repertory Theatre joined as a full producing partner.
Urban Warriors have been together since 1988. They are health educators, teachers, educators, artists, entertainers and professionals from social service to law enforcement. All of these concerned community members believe in the power of edutainment and love. Through collective work and responsibility, a ministry of urban performing and creative arts is used to unite a captive audience to be empowered with health, culture and social skills education, and a challenge to use their creativity to make the world a better place by being self-determined, with the purpose of developing into the best human being possible in mind, body and spirit.
The African American Advisory Council (AAAC) is a nonprofit volunteer group comprised of caring, dedicated and conscious individuals committed to empowering African American youth through community and the arts at large. The council is responsible for organizing some of the most coveted and exciting events in San Diego since 1996. The council is comprised of professionals, teachers, local leaders, home-makers and community members with the common goal to advise and participate with San Diego Repertory Theatre on strengthening their involvement in the African American community of San Diego.