the new school's college of performing arts presents africa unite! a celebration of music, dance, and photography

The special event will take place on Thursday, May 2nd from 7:30PM - 9:30PM, Tishman Auditorium, 63 5th Avenue

NEW YORK, April 17, 2024 – The New School's College of Performing Arts presents" Africa Unite! A Celebration of Music, Dance, and Photography." Curated and directed by Claude Grunitzky, this celebratory event traces the evolution of Black music through sound, dance, and African photography - from the Kora tradition of West African griots and musicians - to American jazz and funk, all the way to a new generation of hip hop and afrobeats.

Performances include a Djassi DaCosta Johnson solo dance set to the sound of the kora, played by Salieu Suso, poetry by Léopold Sédar Senghor spoken by students from the School of Drama, a three-part medley and rhyming performed by The Trace it Back Jazz & Hip-hop Ensemble student quintet from the School of Jazz and Contemporary music, a visual montage of African and African diaspora photography from the Isabel S. Wilcox collection created by new media artist Eva Davidova, faculty member of Parsons School of Design, and more.

AFRICA UNITE! is co-produced by Isabel S. Wilcox and Mannes Sounds Festival, which was founded in 1999 by Pavlina Dokovska, artistic director and chair of the Mannes Piano Department, all under the umbrella of the College of Performing Arts at The New School.


Scheduled in collaboration with the 1-54 contemporary African art fair at the Starrett-Lehigh Building, 255 11th Avenue, May 1 to May 4. The 2024 New York edition will present 30+ galleries exhibiting the work of over 90 artists from Africa and the global diaspora. Click here for more information.

The College of Performing Arts at The New School was formed in 2015 and draws together the Mannes School of Music, the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances.

The 1,000 students at the College of Performing Arts are actors, performers, writers, improvisers, creative technologists, entrepreneurs, composers, arts managers, and multidisciplinary artists who believe in the transformative power of the arts for all people. Students and faculty collaborate with colleagues across The New School in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, public policy, advocacy, and more. 

The curriculum at the College of Performing Arts is dynamic, inclusive, and responsive to the changing arts and culture landscape. New degrees and coursework, like the new graduate degrees for Performer-Composers and Artist Entrepreneurs are designed to challenge highly skilled artists to experiment, innovate, and engage with the past, present, and future of their artforms. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School

[email protected]

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