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Sankofa Event Celebrates Black History Month

Experience African-American culture—its art, dance, storytelling, crafts, and more—at the Indiana State Museum.

Hoosiers can discover intricate art pieces, deep-rooted culture storytelling, and symbolic crafts from the West-African and African-American cultures at the annual Sankofa event held at the Indiana State Museum this Saturday, Feb. 8.

“Sankofa” derives from the Akan language used in Ghana and means “to reach back and obtain.” Participants can join in song at the gospel choirfest, attend the community organizations fair, and see live local dance performances.

The artistic movement of dance is certainly not a new one in the African-American culture. In the 1930s, forms of dance emerged such as tap dancing, the Jitterbug, and the two-step. During Black History Month, many companies, organizations, and individuals celebrate the art of learning about their history as well as their future—some through movement.

In 2000, Krash Krew was formed out of Indy’s Youth Gospel Music Camp. Since their first appearance at the Gospel Music Workshop of America, the ministry has worked with and appeared with many recording artists such as Kirk Franklin, Vickie Winans, Donnie McClurkin, and many others. The 12 dancers travel around the U.S. while contributing to events with the American Heart Association and specific events that target breast cancer awareness and sickle cell research; they hope to travel overseas this year.

The group’s dance style (check it out in the video shown above) is filled with complex choreography that demonstrations its members' undeniable energy and artistic abilities. Their unique craft will take you on an enchanting journey; you're bound to come alive in witnessing the troupe's mesmerizing leaps, sways, and attitude. At Saturday’s event, the dancers will combine many of today’s issues through storytelling. “It’s about looking at a dance, taking from it whatever fits into your life, and finding ways in order to do better,” says Shawn Cowherd, founder and choreographer of Krash Krew.


Sankofa. Feb. 8, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St. 317-232-1637, indianamuseum.org