The Walters Art Gallery has a full schedule from now into May of children's programs, lectures, live performances, tours, films,
exhibits and a family festival to highlight this year's black history celebration.
Diane Stillman, director of education at the Walters, 600 N. Charles St., says one of the prominent programs in February is titled "Family Festival -- African/American Culture: a Celebrated Art." More than 4,000 people attended last year's family festival. This year's festival will be held on Feb. 10 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The festival will feature the Morgan State University choir in concert from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Graham auditorium.
The Renaissance Sculpture Court will be the site for other events, including the Sankofa Dance Theatre, a performance by storyteller Alice McGill, music from the Mamaya jazz ensemble, and African-related crafts.
Small fees are charged for some events, but several, including any events on Wednesdays, and the family festival, are free.
Other events during February include a children's workshop called "Safari," on Feb. 2. "The Magic Garden," filmed in South Africa, will be shown Feb. 8. It's billed as family-oriented viewing with free admission for children. Also in the film series is "Countdown at Kusini," on Feb. 15, directed by Ossie Davis and financed by Delta Sigma Theta. On Feb. 22, Ousmane Sembene's political thriller "Ceddo" will be shown.
On Feb. 21, a lecture will be given on 19th century black life titled "African-American Archaeology in Annapolis." On Feb. 28, the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble will perform in concert. A free event, it's co-sponsored by the Eubie Blake Cultural Center.
"In addition to the special programs that we present every February, we generally have, either every year or occasionally, an exhibit that relates specifically to the African or African-American art heritage," says Ms. Stillman.
"African Improvisation: Textiles," from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, will be featured from March 24 to May 26. "The exhibition uses the vocabulary of jazz to explore the energy, symmetry and controlled spontaneity of African textiles," says Ms. Stillman.
Three other lectures will be given in conjunction with the African Improvisations exhibition. On April 11, "African Cloth as Language" will be explored. On April 14, designers of African-inspired hats and applique will speak. They are Joyce Scott and Xenobia Bailey.
On April 18, there will be a talk on "The Traditional Relationship Between the Artist-Mentor and the Jazz-Student Performer." The lecture touches on the history of jazz.
A number of jazz performances will take place, including a concert by vocalist Shila Ford on April 5. On April 6, Maria Broom will perform in music and dance. On April 12, the talents of the award-winning Hassan Sabree Quartet will be showcased. April 19's concert features the Gene Walker orchestra, playing the music of this country's royalty: Duke Ellington, Count Basie and others.
The Children's Theatre Association will present "Umoja SasaAfrican Folktales IV" on April 7. There will be an adult/child workshop called "Razz Ma Tazz" taught by Ruby Glover and Charles Covington on April 6.
Free tours of the African Textiles exhibit will be held on April 3, 10 and 24. The Sunday tours of the African Textiles exhibit, April 14 and 21, will be included in the museum admission fees.
"A program that we've done two years that is so exciting is Januwa Moja's 'Wearable Art in Motion.' " Ms. Stillman says. "Those are African-inspired fashions that she has her models present here to the music of the New World Percussion Ensemble." That event will take place on April 21 at 2:30 p.m.
For information, call the Walters at 547-2787.