‘Dada Rafiki’ (pronounced Dah-Dah RAH fee- KEE), which means ‘sister friend’ in the Kiswahili language of East Africa, is an empowering, inspirational cultural gathering created by acclaimed artist/poet Annie Ruth to celebrate remarkable women in the community by honoring their spirit and the legacy of their service and accomplishments. She has partnered with the Cincinnati Arts Association to bring together women from all walks of life throughout the region.
This year’s theme is ‘A Celebration of Sisterhood’, and over 30 multicultural women that serve the community will be acclaimed. Dada Rafiki showcases multiple artistic forms, such as spoken word, music, song from several genres, various types of dance, and visual art -- all in one setting. Featured artists include world touring singer-songwriter Dee Dee Foster; nationally acclaimed dancer/choreographer and Taft Museum of Art 2017 Duncanson Artist in Residence Stafford Berry; a regional and community-wide mass choir under the direction of Dr. Catherine Roma; Emmy-award winning Spoken soul artist JaHipster; and Gospel Artist Janice Napier and a host of distinguished performing artists, with special Pre-show appearances by selected performing artists and musicians from the Cincinnati Arts Association's Artist on Tour roster.
Annie Ruth will close out the evening with a special performance of her signature poem. A special community outreach effort for this year includes the free distribution of Dada Rafiki story cards that patrons can collect during the preshow and afterwards to learn more about the remarkable women being celebrated.