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Step Afrika! Celebrates 20 Years of Impact in District, Across Globe

District of Columbia

On May 4, 2015

Step Afrika performing in Samoa. The troupe will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary with a Hope Performance Series at Howard University.
Credit: US Embassy New Zealand/Creative Commons

For C. Brian Williams, founder and executive director of Step Afrika!, step one was to start the world’s first nonprofit dedicated to the performing art of stepping. Step two: expand, adding enrichment programs for youth at high schools and colleges. Step three: share an African-American dance tradition with an international audience. Twenty years later, Step Afrika! is known as Washington, D.C.’s premier arts education, cultural exchange and contemporary performing arts organizations, and one of the top 10 African-American dance companies in the U.S.

“I can’t believe we are looking at 20 years,” said Williams. “I remember coming up with a semblance of an idea to offer the culture I lived, loved to my local community – and here we are now, 40+ countries, 100,000 audience members and 200,000 young students later. This year, we are planning big things and we want District residents to be a part of our biggest platinum year performance.”

To celebrate 20 years in Washington, D.C. – and beyond – Step Afrika! hosts its Home Performance Series (HPS) at Howard University in June. Kicking off the first performance Thursday, June 4, a special VIP gala for supporters, politicos and lovers of dance will include theatre seats, a reception and dinner at the Blackburn Center. The performance, open to the public, begins at 8 p.m., and will be followed by post-show drinks and dancing.

Credit: US Embassy New Zealand
Creative Commons

“We’re very proud to have performed and inspired thousands in Washington, D.C., for 20 years, and we want to use this monumental opportunity to say thank you to our supporters, to make new friends, and to share our work and spirit with those new to the District,” said Step Afrika! Board Member Brady Birdsong. “We also want to use this opportunity to introduce ourselves to those who may not have heard about our work in the community and abroad.” 

All performances take place at the Ira Aldridge Theater at Howard University in Washington, D.C. For box office and group sales, call 202.399.7933 x 110. Schedule of shows is as follows: Thursday, June 4 at 8 p.m.; Friday, June 5 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 6 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday June 7 at 4 p.m.

The VIP gala will be held at Howard University’s Blackburn Center at 5:30 p.m. with a reception and dinner. For more information, contact Joanne Coutts at development@stepafrika.org or visit www.stepafrika.org.

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