The Festival of the New Black Imagination (http://nbifestival.org) announces its first event on Saturday, October 15, 2011. It marks the launch of a new forum for progressive, forward-looking black cultural creators whose goal is to inspire the audience with examples and stories from creators, curators and thinkers from the African diaspora who are defying convention and are redefining what it means to be black in the 21st century. Visual artists Sanford Biggers and Wangechi Mutu, cultural critic Greg Tate, author and TV personality Toure, music icon Vernon Reid, celebrated poet Tyehimba Jess, futurist Dr. Nat Irvin II, and others share their personal visions, passions and projects at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus (1 University Plaza) in Zeckendorf Health Sciences Center, Room 107. The entrance is on Dekalb Avenue at Hudson Street. The event will take place from 10AM – 5PM. Admission is $10 to the conference until October 1, and $15 thereafter. Seating is limited.
There will be an Festival afterparty at Water Street Lounge (66 Water Street in DUMBO) beginning at 8PM, featuring performances by several black alternative artists including Dope Sagittarius, Imani Uzuri, Tamar-Kali, No Surrender, Saidah Baba Talibah. DJ Reborn will spin throughout. Afterparty tickets are $15 until October 1 and $20 thereafter.
A crowd-sourced fundraising drive is underway through Saturday, October 8 at http://www.indiegogo.com/
“I’ve been interested in black creative expression that counters the limited narratives that tend to end up as lazy shorthand for black authenticity in mainstream culture,” says Festival founder and chief curator, Rob Fields. “A festival seemed to be the best way to highlight the diverse preoccupations, interests and ideas that have always been present in black culture, but are often overlooked or ignored.”
The daytime portion of the Festival is organized into a series of talks and discussions, The audience will hear writers, poets, visual artists, filmmakers entrepreneurs, and other creators and curators expound on the things they care about, as well as offer their take on provocative or pressing topics of the day. A full list of participants includes: