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Ebony Escapes! into February

Lysa Allman-Badwin | 1/31/2014, 12:33 p.m.
Well, here we are, already into the second month of the year! As daunting as it may seem that time ...
The annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival, America’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival, takes place in Los Angeles this February. Photo by Lysa Allman-Badwin

Well, here we are, already into the second month of the year! As daunting as it may seem that time is flying by so fast, it’s equally as exciting to see the wealth of ongoing and current events taking place that are sure to delight and inspire. Enjoy!

Ongoing events

Through Feb. 2: Harlem Fine Arts Show (Harlem, N.Y.)

Presented in partnership with the NFL Players Association and held at the Harlem’s historic Riverfront Church, the annual Harlem Fine Arts Show attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year. The five-day event allows attendees—ranging from art enthusiasts, to educators, art collectors, students and others from throughout the New York metropolitan region—the unique opportunity to not only enjoy a wide array of art from over 80 artists and galleries reflecting the African Diaspora, through photography, contemporary paintings and sculpture, but also to discuss these works with many of the individual artists during several meet-and-greet sessions. 914-980-4427, http://hfas.org

Through Feb. 23: 18th annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration (Hilton Head, S.C.)

Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Gullah people and their history on Hilton Head Island, the annual Gullah Celebration has been recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast.” The fun includes a wide array of events designed to attract, entertain and educate local residents, as well as regional, national and international travelers, with storytellers; African dance and Gospel music; an arts, crafts and food expo; a 5K run; youth event; live entertainment and more. 914-363-9299, www.gullahcelebration.com

Through March 23, 2014: “Kongo Across the Waters” (Gainesville, Fla.)

Presented at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Fla., “Kongo Across the Waters” addresses the cultural and artistic themes within Kongo culture and its connections with African-American art and culture in the U.S. The exhibition will encompass five major themes: “Kongo and the Atlantic World,” “Kongo Across the Waters,” “Kongo in the Age of Empire,” “Kongo in African-American Cultures” and “Contemporary Kongo.” Each theme depicts a diverse aspect of this culture in terms of its history, archaeology, language, leadership, religion and more. This exhibition also coincides with the 500th commemoration of when Juan Garrido, the first African conquistador, came to the Americas. 352-392-9826, www.harn.ufl.edu

Through April 19: Black College Expo (various locations)

Representing close to 50 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the Black College Expo is designed to provide “high school and college students with a unique educational and entertaining experience, during which many students from high school and transferring college students are admitted to colleges on the spot.” Collegiate booths; a Career Recruitment Pavilion; Think Green Pavilion; seminars; a career, internship and vocational expo; step show; and scholarship presentations are among the many expo events. www.thecollegeexpo.org

  • Feb. 8: Atlanta, Ga.
  • Feb. 22 Los Angeles
  • March 8: Washington, D.C./Maryland
  • April 19: Houston, Texas

Through April 28: UniverSoul Circus (various locations)

As arguably the most soulful circus on the planet, the UniverSoul Circus presents an entertaining, family-friendly show produced, directed and managed by primarily people of color. Its entertainers are world-class acts from around the globe, including clowns, aerialists, Caribbean and hip-hop dancers, magicians, contortionists, wild animal tamers, daredevils and more. www.universoulcircus.com