The Apollo Presents Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration

WHAT: The Apollo announced today its annual Kwanzaa celebration, which returns in-person for the first

time in two years, offering attendees the opportunity to experience the cultural importance and collective

Black joy that characterize the holiday. Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration will take place on Friday,

December 30 at 7:30pm EST, anchored by performances from renowned New York-based dance company

Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre—the creative force behind the 40-year tradition which

blends contemporary modern, West African, house, and hip-hop dance styles—as well as special guest

artist, Haitian American singer Pauline Jean. Also featured will be the young people of the Forces of

Nature/Harlem Children’s Zone Youth Arts Academy of Dance and Wellness, performing under the

direction of Jae Ponder.

Over the years, the Apollo has worked to ensure the presentation of its Kwanzaa program during the seven-

day celebration of African American culture, carving out space for the community to reflect on the seven

basic principles (the Nguzo Saba) and recommit to the collective achievement of a better life for families,

community, and Black people overall. The event, hosted by Harlem-born actor, playwright, community

activist, and first-time Apollo Kwanzaa emcee Stephanie Berry, will take place in the Apollo’s Historic

Theater. Tickets start at $25 and are available here.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a response to the commercialism of Christmas

and as a way to focus on building community. Kwanzaa is observed from December 26 to January 1, during

which time participants reflect on seven basic principles—Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-

determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia

(purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).

Since 2006, the Apollo has presented an annual event to celebrate this holiday tradition during Kwanzaa

with families and communities from across New York’s five boroughs and the tri-state area. In addition to

the in-person celebration, the Apollo will offer the event virtually, as well as provide the option to relive

the 2021 Kwanzaa Special via video on-demand, connecting African American communities across the

country. Learn more at apollotheater.org.

WHEN: Friday, December 30, 2022 at 7:30 pm EDT

WHERE: The Apollo’s Historic Theater

253 West 125th Street

New York, NY 10027

TICKETS: Tickets, starting at $25, are on-sale now at www.ApolloTheater.org and in-person at the

Apollo Theater Box Office. Harlem residents, employees, business owners, and students

can save 50% on tickets through Apollo’s Half off for Harlem program at

www.ApolloTheater.org/half-off-for-harlem.

About the Apollo Theater

The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging

artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a

creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.

With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This

includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me

and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster

concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now!

Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that

also produces festivals and large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives

that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the

World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for

new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical

genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless

legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah

Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun

Kelly, and Miri Ben-Ari; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.

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About The Apollo

The Apollo is an American cultural treasure. It is a vibrant non-profit organization rooted in the Harlem community that engages people from around New York, the nation, and the world. Since 1934, The Apollo has celebrated, created, and presented work that centers Black artists and voices from across the African Diaspora. It has also been a catalyst for social and civic advocacy. Today, The Apollo is the largest performing arts institution committed to Black culture and creativity.

People enjoying an event

The Apollo is a commissioner and presenter; catalyst for new artists, audiences, and creative workforce; and partner in the projection of the African American narrative and its role in the development of American and global culture.

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Artist on stage at Apollo Theater

The Apollo envisions a new American canon centered on contributions to the performing arts by artists of the African diaspora, in America and beyond.

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