7:06 AM / Monday September 25, 2023

17 May 2013

Art Sanctuary holds its 29th anniverary of Celebration of Black Writing Festival

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May 17, 2013 Category: Local Posted by:

This year marks the 29th anniversary of the Celebration of Black Writing Festival, one of the oldest Black literary festivals in the country. For nearly three decades, the Celebration has grown from a one-day gathering of authors and literary intellectuals to a weeklong event reaching more than 2,000 students and 5,000 participants. This year we are raising the bar yet again! With month-long programs all across the city–from Germantown to South Philly– we bring the Celebration right to our community’s doorstep!  


Our theme this year is Launching Beyond Legacy: Celebrating the Literary Achievements of Black Women. With month-long programs all across city, from Germantown to South Philly, we are bringing the Celebration right to our community’s doorstep! 


Throughout May, we will showcase the amazing exhibit, Beauty, that highlights images of women and children from around the world featuring the photography of Erinn Cosby. And in keeping with our theme, our annual lifetime achievement award will honor poet, playwright, and author Ntozake Shange, recording artist and one half of the legendary songwriting and production team and musical duo Ashford & Simpson Valerie Simpson and veteran journalist Annette John-Hall, three women whose body of work has continuously elevated our community.


The Lifetime Achievement Awards will feature entertainment by world-renowned jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, backed by Philly’s own Urban Guerilla Orchestra. We will also feature a special musical tribute to often-unsung Black women songwriters during a program that promises to be enjoyable and uplifting. 


BEAUTY: A Photography Exhibit by Erinn Cosby  


Wednesday, May 1 to Friday, May 31


With travels to most of the world’s continents under her belt, photographer, Erinn Cosby has curated this exhibit, which she simply calls Beauty, to capture the magnificence that she discovered in the everyday lives of the women and children of the diaspora.  Two of her distinct pieces will be up for auction, while the others will be available for private sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Art Sanctuary.


Location: Art Sanctuary Gallery, 628 S. 16th Street, 19146


General Exhibit Hours:


Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 5:00pm 


Special Extended Hours: 


Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00am to 8:00pm


Saturday, May 25, 10:00am to 2:00pm




Saturday, May 18 


Max Rodriguez, veteran publisher and founder of the Harlem Book Far, will lead a workshop about alternative publishing options.  This workshop is for self-published, or soon to be published authors who want to profit by placing their titles on the leading edge of the mobile market wave.


Location: Art Sanctuary, 628 S. 16th Street, 19146


Time: 10:00am to 12pm 


Cost: Free! (donations welcome)


Pre-registration required:


The Future of E-Publishing 




Saturday, May 18


Noted author and professor, Asali Solomon, will facilitate this workshop to help participants find the story they want to tell by giving them a bit of time, space and guidance in the form of prompts, exercises and feedback. Come prepared to think, dream, write and share.


Location: Historic Germantown c/o Germantown Historical Society, 5501 Germantown Avenue, 19144


Time:  1:00pm to 3:00pm


Cost: Free! (donations welcome)


Pre-registration required: 


BEAUTY: Closing Reception and Auction 


Thursday, May 30 


Photographer, Erinn Cosby will be our guest at the closing reception of Beauty, to auction two of her select pieces, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Art Sanctuary.


Location: Art Sanctuary Gallery, 628 S. 16th Street, 19146


Time: 6:00pm


Cost: Free! (donations accepted). Light refreshments will be served.


Pre-registration required:  Beauty: Closing Reception and Auction



STUDENT MATINEE (by invitation only) 


The Skin I’m In: Sisters Speak 


Friday, May 31 at 10:00am – 12:00pm


Young Adult authors Deborah Gregory and Sharon Flake will discuss what it means to be a young woman in today’s society. Moderated by spoken word artist, educator and youth advocate Nina “Lyrispect” Ball.



STUDENT MATINEE (by invitation only)


Power, Manhood & Respect: Brothers Talk About Masculinity in Hip Hop


Friday, May 31 at 10:00am – 12:00pm


We will tackle this issue in a conversation between a group of male students, Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement Founder/Executive Director


Greg Corbin, filmmaker Byron Hurt and youth entrepreneur Rashaun Williams.  Moderated by activist, educator, mentor and youth advocate


Location: Temple University, Philadelphia


Cost: Free! (students only – invitation required)





Friday, May 31 at 6:30pm 


Temple University Performing Arts Center

1837 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19121


This year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards, Beautiful Without Permission, is the culmination of our yearlong celebration of the artistic achievements of Black women. This year we will honor three dynamic women whose bodies of work have elevated our community through playwriting, poetry, music and journalism. Join us as we pay tribute to inimitable author, poet and playwright Ntozake Shange, legendary songwriter and one half of the beloved duo Ashford & Simpson, recording artist and songwriter/producer Valerie Simpson and veteran journalist Annette John-Hall. This spectacular event will be capped off by a performance from legendary jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon backed by Philly’s own Urban Guerilla Orchestra.


Cost: Adults: $28 – $78; Children 17 and under: $13; Discount for groups of 10 or more: 20% off (Ticket price includes $3 facility fee)


PURCHASE TICKETS: in-person at The Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121, call (800)298.4200


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