The Healing Power of Go-Go Festival is at the Kennedy Center this Friday and Saturday


Excerpt from a press release:

“As members of the first “Culture Caucus”, Don’t Mute DC, will host the “Healing Power of Go-Go” festival from Friday, July 22 through Saturday, July 23 at the Kennedy Center. This event will allow patrons and the community to explore the role black music plays in healing individual and societal trauma. The festival will include free activities such as live music, impactful conversations, art vendors, and dance and drumming workshops..

Ronald Moten, co-curator of the weekend festival, has led youth drumming healing workshops at the Go-Go Museum & Café for over a decade. “They say hurt people hurt people and healed people heal people,” says Moten. “Go-go has helped heal and bring hope and power to a community that has been neglected by policy makers for far too long.”

Don’t Mute DC is a coalition of advocates, musicians, scholars and policy makers who have coordinated an ongoing powerful response to the gentrification and silencing of black culture dramatized by the battle for music played outdoors from Metro PCS to Shaw in the spring of April 2019. Since January 2020, Don’t Mute DC has established a coalition, The Reach, as part of a group of two dozen community groups selected to activate the expansion of the center .

“We’ve come a long way since go-go music was scapegoated and criminalized by local policymakers in the 1980s,” said Howard University fellow and co-curator Dr. Natalie Hopkinson. of the weekend festival. “We invite the public to experience the culture and discover how drums are powerful forces in elevating political issues as well as medicine to nourish our souls.”

The Healing of Go-Go Festival will feature several local community activists, opinion leaders, musicians and artists such as Howard University Professor Dr. Natalie Hopkinson; the author of “Mame’s Spirit,” Dr. Bernard Demczuk; Co-founder of the Go-Go Museum & Cafe, Ronald “Moe” Moten; master drummer Kweku Sumbry; Dr. Monica Ponder, professor of health communication at Howard University; Music Neuroscientist, Dr. Jessica Phillips-Silver; Junie Henderson, Prince Experience Leader; The Junkyard Group; DJ Big John; the trombone of Travis and the sensual voice of J’ta Freeman.

Other partners in this event include the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the District Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music and Entertainment and Humanities in Public.

Click on here to see a full schedule of events or to register for one of the free roundtables.


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