New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Kwanzaa Celebration Set for Dec. 27

The Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. presents its 25th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. at the historic Trinity-on-Main, 69 Main St, New Britain. Tickets: $15, general admission; $10, seniors and children (under 12). Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday observed each winter, encourages the traditional values of family, community, responsibility, commerce and self-improvement. The celebration is open to people of all ages, races, cultures and faiths, and all are invited. There will be an African Vendor’s Market and live preshow entertainment. Doors open at 6 p.m.

There will be an abundance of entertainment featuring both youth and adults. The performers include a mix of professionals and non- professionals who will offer an eclectic show consisting of African drumming and dancing, Gospel, Jazz, Soul, Pop and Hip Hop music selections and skits.

There is a new artistic director at the Center in Kristianna Smith.

Kristianna is the Interim Principal Teaching Artist at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Kristy has taught and directed throughout Connecticut over the past nine years. She was able to direct the warmly received production of The Mischief Makers at Long Wharf Theatre, introducing elementary students of the New Haven area to folktales from around the world. Kristianna has a strong passion for Social Change Theatre and, as a former member/facilitator of WildActs Social Change Theatre Troupe, strives to create stronger community bonds in her work as both an artist and an educator .

Kristianna adds “In my short time at the Queen Ann Nzinga Center, I have been able to not only learn the principles of Kwanzaa, but begin to spread them into my day to day life. Unity, Self- Determination, Collective Responsibility and Problem Solving, Co-operative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith are at the heart of the work every theatre educator does. The purpose of the Watoto program is not simply to provide participants with an opportunity to perform, but to give them the tools to successfully create work of their own. “Living the Seven Principles” is a collection of weeks worth of classes, conversations, and ideas from every participant in the program. This show would not have been possible if the community, families, staff, and participants themselves did not support and strive to succeed together. I am inspired and touched by the work we have done these past few months, and could not be more proud of each of the people I am lucky enough to work with, both participant and staff alike. Thank you for showing me the meaning of Kwanzaa.”

The Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has worked for 26 years to help children reach their full potential through the arts and to foster multi-cultural appreciation for all ages. These programs are made possible, in part, through grants from the New Britain Commission on Arts, COSIA, Charles Parker Trust, American Savings Foundation and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.