News and Announcements

Global Arts Festival and World Music and Dance Concert returns to Athens

The fourth Ohio University Global Arts Festival and 12th World Music and Dance Concert will take place from April 1-5 during International Week and will celebrate diversity in the OHIO community with events featuring guests from around the world. A full schedule is available on the Global Arts Festival webpage and will be updated regularly. 

The 2024 Global Arts Festival will kick off at 5 p.m. on April 1 with a weeklong celebration of free arts and cultural events that include concerts, film screenings, a world language showcase, an MFA exhibition in graphic design titled ZenMode by David Osei, dance night with Factory Street Studio, a percussion extravaganza by Ohio University Percussion Studio and an international fashion show. A keynote address from Prof. Emeritus Kofi Agawu of Princeton University will be delivered Thursday, April 4, at 11 a.m. in Schoonover 145.

Festival Directors Paschal Yao Younge and Zelma Badu-Younge “...hope the events of the 2024 Festival introduce our students, faculty, staff, and the Athens community to different ways of conceptualizing the arts and potentially opening new avenues of creativity, expression, and aesthetic appreciation.”

Yao Younge Global Arts Festival
Paschal Yao Younge

"The goal is to present a variety of musical sounds, dance movements, and fashion from all over the world and thereby expand the creative experiences and help our audience understand that many areas of the world have performing and visual arts as sophisticated as their own... thereby creating more opportunities for intercultural understanding, performance, and appreciation of the performing arts and, finally, celebrating Diversity at Ohio University,” Yao Younge and Badu-Younge said.

The festival culminates with the performance of the World Music and Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 5 at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. The concert will celebrate dance and music from Ghana, Japan, Poland, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Ukraine and more. Performers will include the Kashtan School of Ukrainian Dance, Ohio University African Ensemble and Steel Band, Ohio University Percussion Ensembles, Ohio University Taiko Group, and the Singing Men of Ohio, among others.

All Global Arts Festival events are free and open to the public with the exception of the World Music and Dance Concert, which is $15 per ticket (OHIO students with a valid OHIO ID are free thanks to Arts for OHIO). Tickets to the World Music and Dance Concert are available through Events Services and Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium, online here.

The Global Arts Festival was founded in 2019 by Music Professor Paschal Yao Younge and Dance Professor Zelma Badu-Younge with the two expanding upon and directing the World Music and Dance Concerts the College of Fine Arts organized from 2011 to 2018.

Kashtan School of Ukrainian Dance

About Kashtan School of Ukrainian Dance
Since 1979, Kashtan School of Ukrainian Dance has been a prominent cornerstone of the Ukrainian community in Greater Cleveland. Under the artistic direction of Director Jonathan Hejnal and Assistant Director Andrea Komichak Mural, Kashtan preserves the soul of Ukraine through the beauty of folk dance. Kashtan has performed at concerts and festivals across Ohio, the Midwest, Eastern United States, and Canada, captivating audiences with their delightful repertoire and energetic style. By promoting the rich Ukrainian dance heritage, Kashtan has greatly contributed to the popularity of folk dance.

About Prof. Kofi Agawu
Agawu was born in Ghana, where he received his initial education before studying composition and analysis in the UK and musicology in the US. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. His books include Playing with Signs (1991), African Rhythm (1996), Music as Discourse (2008), and The African Imagination in Music (2016). He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1991), the Dent Medal (1992), the Harrison Medal from the Society for Musicology in Ireland (2009), the IMS Guido Adler Prize (2023), and honorary degrees from Stellenbosch University (2017) and Bard College (2019). A Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and Honorary Member of the Royal Musical Association. A collection of essays, On African Music: Techniques, Influences, Scholarship, was published in June 2023 by Oxford University Press.

March 19, 2024
Staff reports