The 11th Annual Kuumba Fest
The Lyceum, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown, 619-544-1000
Feb. 28 through March 2
Founded in 1993 by local performing arts veteran Daj-ahn Blevins, Kuumba Fest is the San Diego Repertory Theatre's joyful salute to Black History Month. Billed as "San Diego's longest-running African American festival," Kuumba Fest began as an youth outreach program, aimed at talented but troubled urban teens who were struggling with academic achievement. Much like Teresa Gunn's Street of Dreams teen literacy program, Kuumba (Swahili for "creativity") Fest is the story of one person unwilling to accept the self-fulfilling pathologies of the street, proof that every problem is opportunity in disguise. And their success is a rock-solid argument for more, not less, arts funding in our schools.
Kuumba Fest is three days of markets, forums, workshops, amazing African drumming (pictured), two plays and two must-see competitions. Saturday night features the hip-hop showcase honoring community standouts in rap, spoken word and DJ styles-and "Late Night At The Lyceum," an Apollo-style competition featuring celebrity judges Camille Winbush (TV's Bernie Mac Show) and choreographer Richard "Swoop" Whitebear. Tickets are $10-$15 per day, with discounts for children, seniors and military.