[Ed. note – Apologies for not getting this posted before some of the events have taken place; events will go through year-end however…]
Kwanzaa, December 26 through January 1, is a unique holiday celebrating the strengths and accomplishments of the African American community. Kwanzaa activities will be featured at two Portland Parks and Recreation sites – the Matt Dishman Community Center and the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC).
On Wednesday, December 26, the Matt Dishman Community Center (77 NE Knott) will honor the first day of Kwanzaa, Umoja (Unity) with a presentation of the Feast of the Seven Tables, a performance by Liquid Moves Entertainment. The event runs from 5:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M., with the candle lighting at 6:30 P.M.
The Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (340 N. Interstate) honors Kujichagulia (self-determination), the second day of Kwanzaa week, with live performances by poets and drummers throughout the Gallery from 4:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. on Thursday, December 27. The candle lighting ceremony will be held at 6:30 P.M.
In addition, IFCC is presenting a Kwanzaa Marketplace from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. on Saturdays and Sundays through December 30. The Marketplace will also be open during the Kujichagulia celebration on December 27. Great gifts and art finds by African American artists will be available, as well as art supplies, décor, and ideas for creating one’s own Kwanzaa Celebration. Artists featured at the Marketplace include Donna Smith, Renee Mitchell, Kemi Arigibon, Vivienne Mathis, Kahunya Wario, Marsalis Brown, GG, Romaine Harris, Jaime Lee Christiana, Wanda Wright, and Blacque Butterfly.
The IFCC Gallery will feature the works of artists GG, Mo, Art Alexander, Raymond Alexander, Adriene Cruz, Helen Montgomery, and Wanda Wright, each of whom have created an altar dedicated to each of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. Connected to The Center for Black Studies at Portland State University, Senator Avel Gordly, Reverend Dr. W.G. Hardy Jr., and Dr. Dalton Miller-Jones share their photos from a recent trip to Ghana. The works will be on view in the Gallery from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M., Tuesday – Friday, and 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. Saturday and Sunday, through December 31.
For more information, visit portlandparks.org.