The annual Black Theatre and Arts Festival will run from June 23 through July 2. (Courtesy photo)
The annual Black Theatre and Arts Festival will run from June 23 through July 2. (Courtesy photo)

The District is hosting the DC Drama Department’s seventh annual Black Theatre and Arts Festival at the Anacostia Arts Center.

The 10-day festival, which began June 23, celebrates extraordinary stories by people of African descent showcasing more than 150 provocative and ground breaking performances, by local and national artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians.

The self-producing festival is a platform “where both established and emerging artists can present their work,” organizers said in a statement.

“For some, applying is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create, produce and perform a show,” the organizers said. “The Festival strives to encourage artists in our festival to give expression to their talents and develop their artistic freedom, without any barriers between their work and the audience. We are also the first theatre festival of its kind to recognize the importance of both urban and traditional theater.”

The weeklong festivities will feature the DC Artists East Exhibition, which includes work from members of the DC Artists East website and artists from Ward 7 and 8. The event will also have daily theatrical performances, celebrity workshops, monologue competitions and live music.

On Thursday, artist and community activist Omolara Williams-McCallister will teach participants how to eloquently and creatively tie head wraps and provide lessons on the history and application of multiple body adornment practices specific to the culture of black and African women.

“Our organization dedicates itself to three guiding principles: quality, diversity and community,” festival organizers said. “The DC Drama Department seeks to be the premier cultural organization in D.C., providing productions and programs that make an essential contribution to the quality of life in our city and worldwide. This is why we created the DC Black Theatre and Arts Festival.”

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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