STRAZ Center celebrates influences of the African diaspora in free event


What would you say if someone told you that alongside soul food, jazz, and hip hop, the African diaspora is also well-known globally for its influence in growing rice?

That’s right. The African diaspora’s global influence is so much more than what’s known in American culture, and the STRAZ Center wants to acknowledge it all.

“Arts Legacy REMIX is really reworking and reliving into a real commitment to celebrate all of the threads and rich cultural tapestry in Tampa Bay,” said Fred Johnson, the performing arts venue’s community engagement specialist and artist in residence.

On Friday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m., the series kicks off on the STRAZ’s outdoor Riverwalk Stage with a celebration of the myriad ways Black culture influences societies far and wide.

A host of performances can be expected, said Johnson, and all the while, a narrative of the importance of growing rice is woven throughout.

This family-friendly event will feature a performance by Kuumba dancers and drummers, spirituals sung by the Gospel Warriors, dancers from Pinellas County Center for the Arts, and a special tribute to the diaspora’s influence on music. For the kids, Nikita Wilson will read aloud Lupita Nyong’s “Sulwe,” and reggae band I-Ruption will close out the night.

Along with celebrating the diaspora’s cultural thread throughout the globe, the Arts Legacy REMIX also highlights the many different local performers, musicians, and artists that represent the culture. The series provides attendees with a better understanding of the rich culture that exists right in the Tampa Bay area.

“It means a lot to me as an artist to be able to present the amazingly talented artists that are right here in our community,” Johnson said. “This series gives us the ability to tell a powerful cultural and ethnic story.”

<strong>Arts Legacy REMIX</strong>

Date: Friday, Nov. 19

Time: 7:30-9:00 p.m.

Location: STRAZ Center’s outdoor Riverwalk Stage, 1010 N Macinnes Plaza

Parking: There is street parking, and there are also several parking lots around the STRAZ Center. Both street and lot parking require a fee.

More information: Though the event is free, reservations are required. Reserve your seat at This event is outside, masks are encouraged, and seating will be socially distanced.

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