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Okaidja Afroso (Lisa Monet)

Author: CU Presents Staff

CU Boulder’s Artist Series and Center for African and African American Studies Forge Dynamic Partnership

The University of Colorado Boulder’s cultural landscape is set to receive a vibrant and enriching boost as CU Presents’ Artist Series and the Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS) join forces in an exciting new partnership. This collaboration will support an inspiring array of performances and events that celebrate the richness of African and African American arts and culture.

The CAAAS’s dedication to promoting awareness and understanding of the African diaspora unites with the Artist Series’ mission to bring world-class performances to the campus community. As part of this collaboration, the CAAAS will proudly co-sponsor two Artist Series events in Macky Auditorium during the 2023-24 season: the electrifying harmony of Nobuntu on Nov. 2 and the captivating movement of Step Afrika! on Feb. 2.

“The Center for African & African American Studies is thrilled to partner with CU Presents’ Artist Series. This partnership means that the Boulder campus and Boulder community will be able to witness wonderful performing artists from Africa and throughout the African diaspora on a regular basis,” according to the CAAAS founder and director Dr. Reiland Rabaka. “I am excited by this partnership and the opportunity to engage more deeply with the communities we wish to serve. As one of our renowned faculty experts, Dr. Rabaka’s expertise will help inform future Artist Series programming and outreach activities,” adds Joan McLean Braun, Executive Director of CU Presents.

Nobuntu, an all-female a cappella quintet hailing from Zimbabwe, promises to mesmerize audiences with their harmonious melodies and powerful storytelling on the stage. This unique group embodies the resilience and creativity that characterizes so much of African and African American cultural expressions.

Step Afrika!, the renowned dance company rooted in the traditions of stepping, will grace the CU Boulder campus with a performance that fuses percussive dance, engaging choreography, and vibrant rhythms. Their captivating show not only celebrates the dynamism of African American dance but also invites audiences to partake in an exhilarating interactive and cross-cultural experience.

As part of their joint efforts, the Artist Series and the CAAAS are also thrilled to announce an interactive workshop with Ghanaian musician and storyteller Okaidja Afroso on September 26 at CU Boulder’s Center for Community. Through the collaborative efforts of both organizations, Afroso will welcome participants on a journey including stories, songs, dances and a Q&A. This workshop is also made possible by the University of Denver’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts, where Afroso will perform live on Sept. 27.

The partnership between the Artist Series and the CAAAS exemplifies CU Boulder’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus environment. By bringing together the power of performance and the rich cultural expression of African and African American studies, this collaboration promises to enrich the university community and beyond.