Even today, with all of our fancy airplanes and interwebs, many of us are still woefully ignorant of the wide world around us. Is laziness to blame? Or might the problem be that there is too much information out there, and we are overwhelmed and unable to process it all? Whatever the reason, events like the St. Louis African Arts Festival help us focus our attention and immerse ourselves — while having a good time. The weekend-long tribute to the faraway continent — the fest runs from Saturday through Monday, May 23 to 25 — offers workshops on jewelry- and mask-making, a marketplace of African goods, dance and music performances, a film festival, African art and more. Plus, there's even a free kora concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 22, at the Saint Louis Art Museum; this 21-string instrument will be played by kora master Mamadou Diabate. Most of the festival events take place at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park, though the film fest is at the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library (225 North Euclid Avenue), and the art exhibition is at the Saint Louis Art Museum. To learn more and to see a full schedule of events, visit www.stlafricanartsfest.org, and call 314-935-9676 with any questions.
May 23-25, 2009