Cleveland Cultural Gardens to celebrate African heritage this weekend

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens launches its World on Stage concert and arts series this Saturday, July 1 with a free African Heritage event from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Centennial Peace Plaza.

The Cultural Gardens boast more than 30 ethnic heritage gardens, with many more in the works. While there are currently Ethiopian and African-American Cultural Gardens, with an Egyptian Cultural Garden in the development stages, there are no other repenting African nations.

So, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation is hosting an African Heritage event to highlight the people, music, food, fashion and culture of various African cultures.

“People of African heritage are not all the same,” says Dan Hanson of ClevelandPeople.Com. “With 54 countries, Africa is truly diverse. Customs in Tanzania are different from Ethiopia or Senegal and so on. Not everybody realizes that. Yet there is also a commonality.”

Saturday’s event will feature African heritage performances with African drumming and spoken word by 99 Treasures Art & Culture, Akron-based African dance troupe The Black Beanz; an Ethiopian coffee ceremony; and the Djapo Cultural Arts Institute presenting music and drumming from Mali, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, and Guinea

Visitors can see the 54 countries that make up Earth’s second largest continent on a large map of Africa.

World on Stage producer Johnny Wu says, “This is the first in a series of World on Stage events this summer. Africa Day will be followed by events for Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Southeastern Asian communities, and more.”