On January 1, 1985, the African American Dance Ensemble (AADE) held our first KwanzaaFest in the city of Durham. Kwanzaa is a celebration for all people, focusing on family, friends, and the fruits of the earth. Celebrated December 26th – January 1st, the name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.”
Celebrating the holiday season and Durham's diversity, AADE’s annual Kwanzaa celebration is a time
to enjoy family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa itself is a seven-day African holiday that celebrates
a different principle each day. AADE’s Kwanzaa takes place on the seventh day, which is dedicated
to Imani, or faith.
As we're sure you are already aware, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant that it's now
vital to limit social contact and avoid gathering. For that reason, the African American Dance Ensemble
has made the difficult decision to cancel KwanzaaFest 2021. While we know this is disappointing, we
hope you understand the steps we're taking to help keep our staff and attendees safe and help
prevent further spread of the virus.
Photo credit: Juan Richardson
DAVIS-WILLIAMS SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Davis-Williams Scholarship is named after the late Baba Chuck Davis, founder of the African American Dance Ensemble, The Chuck Davis Company and DanceAfrica and Mr. Jimmie Williams, former dancer of AADE.
The scholarship will be awarded to youth who are interested in the performing arts and desire to learn their craft
and pursue the art of dance and or teaching. We believe the education of our youth is important, and the way to
ensure the continuance of dance is to make sure that we do our part to assist those who desire to carry the banner.
The education of our youth is important, and the way to ensure the continuance of African and African American
Dance is to make sure that we do our part to physically, mentally and financially assist those who desire to carry the
Help Us Help Our Youth
The African American Dance Ensemble is a 501(c) 3 organization, and our mission is to preserve and share the finest traditions of African and African American Dance and Music through research, education, performance and entertainment; to focus on the health and education of our community.
Our purpose is to help our youth become more active through dance and the arts. With our motto: "Peace, Love, Respect for Everybody" the Ensemble celebrates traditional African culture, aesthetics and values to encourage cross-cultural dialogue, cooperation and understanding.
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