Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another Visit to the School of Environmental Studies

Today, I visited the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley, Minnesota, to speak in Todd Carlson's class. The class deals with indigenous knowledge and mythology

Todd shares with the students the mythologies of various traditional cultures, such as Native American, Aboriginal Australians, and the Khoisan of Southern Africa.

He also shares with the students some parts of my Matengo Folktales. Whenever I visit the School, I meet students who are well prepared.

As in the past, we had a great experience today. After my brief introduction, highlighting Africa as the original home of humans, the cradle of technology, language and other specifically human accomplishments, I talked about the emergence and evolution of storytelling.

The students had, as usual, engaging questions, spanning the spectrum from the intriguing similarities among different folklore traditions, to the modalities and ethics of folklore field work to the vexed question of translation.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Afrifest Foundation Board Meeting, November 3

Today, the board of the Afrifest Foundation met at the Center for Families, in Minneapolis. Attending the meeting were--from left to right in the photo--Kechi Bisong, Joseph L. Mbele, Wycliff Chakua, Teddy Kobingi, and Beatrice Adenodi.

In the absence of Nathan White, Afrifest Foundation Executive Secretary, who is traveling around Africa,  Wycliff Chakua chaired the meeting.

Teddy is a new member of the Board, who brings much experience in the financial and non-profit world. Beatrice, CEO and chief marketing specialist of Mirror Ink Productions, joined the Foundation a few weeks ago, bringing valuable expertise in various fields, such as marketing, promotions, and fundraising.

Today's agenda centered on planning for the 2013 Afrifest Festival. We are starting the planning process earlier than in the past, and we want to do things somewhat differently. We are excited to have established partnerships with Carifest, the Duluth Reggae Festival and ACER Inc. We will work together in various ways, including jointly promoting our events and programs.

The Afrifest Foundation will conduct two fund-raising events before the main Afrifest festival, which we have scheduled for mid-August, 2013. One of these events will be held in March and the other one in June. Unlike in the past when members of the board did all the planning and implementation of the festival, now we will have a festival coordinator as well as a music coordinator.

With all the work that has been done to build the Afrifest Foundation to its present level, we are all excited about the Foundation's future. We look forward to very successful fund-raising events, the August festival and other programs.