The MOJA Arts Festival, a celebration of African-American and Caribbean culture that runs Sept. 28-Oct. 8, is a little different this year.
First, the half-a-dozen or so "big events" all feature local performers. Second, there’s some interesting cross-pollination and collaborative projects. Third, the visual arts contributions are programmatic and innovative, explicitly tapping into African ritual traditions.
Finally, the festival this year includes a substratum of activity led by visiting dance guru Ronald Brown of the Brooklyn-based company Evidence. Brown, a formidable choreographer who has worked with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and who was responsible for the movement in “George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” on Broadway, will lead workshops for students during MOJA and put together a participatory contemporary dance event.
And then there’s all the programming co-sponsored by MOJA, events that are not technically part of the festival but clearly related to it.
Such as the NEA Big Read project, the result of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, that includes a 6 p.m. panel discussion and performance on Oct. 2 at the City Gallery. The selected book is Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen: An American Lyric.” Brown will be part of the panel.