San Francisco International Arts Festival Announces 2007 Program The Truth in Knowing/Now: A Conversation Across the African Diaspora May 17 - 27, 2007; http://www.sfiaf.org

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Artistic Director Rhodessa Jones curates 4th annual showcase of visual and performing arts with projects from SF International Airport to downtown SF. San Francisco's "Jewels in the Square" free music series joins as presenting partner. Union Square to feature 10 days of free mid-day performances & SFIAF Info Kiosk.

Surrounded by the art and artistry that has already made San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) an international destination, the 4th Annual San Francisco International Arts Festival (http://www.sfiaf.org) announced its initial list of participating artists, presenting partners and venues for the 2007 festival. With its theme The Truth in Knowing/Now: A Conversation Across the African Diaspora, the festival will take place in venues across San Francisco from May 17 - 27, 2007, and feature for the first time 10 days of free performances co-presented by the "Jewels In the Square" series and an information kiosk in the "heart" of San Francisco, Union Square. More than 20 San Francisco arts and cultural organizations will coordinate and present an unprecedented gathering of local and international artists in an exploration and celebration of Africa and the Diaspora.

"The African Diaspora became one of the largest and most complex movements of people the world has experienced," said Rhodessa Jones, Festival Artistic Director. "Notwithstanding differences of dress and language, the sons and daughters of Africa recognize each other the world over. Centuries of separation have not been able to diminish a shared commitment to spirituality, the development of sacred music within new cultural contexts, expressions of spirit through movement and dance, commonalities of food and its preparation, and an obsession with personal adornment and hair. We want the 2007 San Francisco International Arts Festival to celebrate these cultural differences while honoring their common origins and also to honor subsequent African migrations and cultural developments."

SFIAF Board President, Thelma Fuqua, also commented, "Rather than building an event that is the sole responsibility of a single producer, SFIAF is dedicated to working with an array of San Francisco arts organizations to develop a paradigm that utilizes the shared resources of multiple local presenters to reach mutually beneficial goals. The Festival's core values are based on principals of cultural and economic equity. Therefore, in addition to working with larger institutions such as MoAD and the Magic Theatre, we place a high priority on the participation of culturally diverse and smaller arts organizations that represent the city's broad demographics. Activating and supporting relationships between large and small organizations and individual artists is also a key component of what we do."

This unprecedented collaboration of international and local talent will fill the city with a score of performances and exhibitions in venues such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco City Hall, the African American Art & Culture Complex and Union Square. Also presented will be a series of films curated by Ave Montague, artistic director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival; the African Encounters photographic exhibit from Bamako, Mali to be presented by the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) and an appearance by the globe-trotting Guinean nouveau cirque company, Circus Baobab.

Festival events include performances by Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir collaborating with the British choir Black Voices; Representa! commissioned hip-hop theatre performance by Paul Flores and Julio Cardenas with direction by Danny Hoch; other international theatre performances presented by the AfroSolo Theater Company, Cultural Odyssey's Underground Cabaret hosted by Idris Ackamoor and Dance en Creations, in which five modern dance companies -- two from the Bay Area, two from South Africa and one from Congo -- will share the stage at Dance Mission Theater.

ArtworkSF have also curated a group show of Bay Area visual artists that will run as part of the Festival titled, Breaking Ice: Bay Area Artists Consider the African Diaspora, selected artists include: Rawn McCloud, Kat Flynn, Sherri Cavan, Lois Llewellyn, Marion Coleman, Maxine Solomon, Amanda Wymer, Rives Granade, Lynn Friedman, Vera Costa, Rachel Sager, Colin Harris, Tammy Wilson, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Bayete Ross Smith, Karen Hampton, Suzun Hughes, John Grew Sheridan, Susan Matthews, Kristine Mays, D'Arci Bruno, Matteo Neivert, Holly Wong, Charles H. Stinson, Maggie Malloy, Glodean Champion, Lorraine Bonner, Opal Palmer Adisa, Jeffrey Blankfort, Fan L. Warren and Karen Ruenitz. The artist's work will be exhibited at 49 Geary Street and the San Francisco Main Library.

SFIAF's mission is to promote the arts and San Francisco through production of an annual, multi-disciplinary festival that brings together the world community of artists and audiences. The festival commissions innovative, collaborative performances and projects that push the boundaries of artistic excellence and genre that are focused on increasing human awareness, appreciation and understanding. The festival serves as a catalyst for emergence of a cohesive, culturally and socially diverse artistic community in San Francisco that is actively engaged in addressing the civic, social, and cultural issues of our environment and time. The festival is designed to showcase San Francisco as a model for integration of the arts into the fabric of the community in a meaningful, productive and mutually beneficial fashion. The National Advisory Committee for the Festival is comprised of Danny Glover, Anna Maria Horsford, Ernie Hudson, Bill T. Jones, Baraka Sele, Geol L. Weirs.

SFIAF Presenting Partners 2007: The African American Art & Culture Complex, AfroSolo Theater Company, Arab Cultural Center, ArtworkSF, Brava! for Women in the Arts, Cultural Odyssey, Dimensions Dance Theater, Earplay, Friends of Negro Spirituals, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival, "Jewels in the Square", La Peña Cultural Center, the Israel Center, Magic Theatre, Mission Cultural Center, Photo Alliance, Project Artaud Theater, the San Francisco Arts Commission's Gallery at City Hall, San Francisco Black Film Festival, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco Public Library, Tabernacle Community Development Corporation, the Women's Building and the YMCA of San Francisco.

Confirmed Bay Area Performing Artists taking part in the Festival include:

Idris Ackamoor Quartet

John Santos Quintet

Wayne Wallace with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra

Zaccho Dance Theatre

Dimensions Dance Theater

Robert Moses' Kin Dance Company

Brian Freeman

Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir

Paul Flores and Julio Cardenas (New York) in "Representa"

Earplay featuring the music of Eleanor Alberga

Confirmed International Performing Artists taking part in the Festival include:

Aurelio Martinez (Honduras)

Pepe Vasquez (Peru) with Rompe y Raja

Compagnie Li-Sangha (Congo)

Mhayise Productions (South Africa)

Neliswe Xaba (South Africa)

Yossi Vassa (Israel/Ethiopia)

SuAndi (United Kingdom)

Nawal (Comoros Islands)

Support for the San Francisco International Arts Festival has come from the following: The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Performance Network, the Western Arts Federation, Cultures France and the French Consulate General, the Israeli Consulate, The Multi-Arts Production Fund, the Christensen Fund, the Creative Work Fund, the van Loben Sels Rembi Rock Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Potrero Nuevo Fund, the LEF Foundation, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Artes Americas and Mary McCue's MJM Management Group.

For more information on the 4th Annual San Francisco International Arts Festival -- The Truth in Knowing/Now: A Conversation Across the African Diaspora -- and to hear an audio podcast interview with Festival Artistic Director Rhodessa Jones, go to http://www.sfiaf.org. Early in 2007, a full schedule of times and venues will be announced.

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