News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: March 25, 2003 (03-26)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Arts Institute to Host World Arts Festival
Two-Day Celebration of Art, Dance, Literature, Music and Video
To Be Held April 11 and 12, Rockville Campus

            The Arts Institute of Montgomery College will host a two-day “World Arts Festival,” a celebration of music, visual art, film, dance, literature, and storytelling featuring workshops, lectures, and performances by internationally recognized musicians, artists, dancers, scholars, and writers. The festival will be held Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 at the College’s Rockville Campus. All events are free and open to the public.

            The term “World Art” refers to the creative works of indigenous peoples and their descendants who were the first inhabitants of lands later occupied and dominated by others from different regions, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds. Preserved through centuries by their descendants, the music, art, and dance of aboriginal communities speaks of human joys and struggles, the affinity of human beings to their land, and their common understanding of love and life. Highlights of the two-day festival are as follows:           

Friday, April 11:  

  • Caryn Heilman, former dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, will discuss the choreographic structures of Paul Taylor that contribute to the Company's electrifying onstage energy, in the Theatre Arts Arena,  from 10 to 11:25 a.m. Heilman will also lead a dance master class, “Liquid Body Movement,” designed for dancers and non-dancers alike, to the accompaniment of live music provided by Nana Simopolous on Indian sitar, Greek bouzouki, and Australian didgeridoo, from noon to 1:25 p.m.                    
  • Four members of the Old Elk Family will give a workshop and demonstration of the history, current events, blessings, dancing, and singing from both the Crow and Sioux traditions, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Music Building.
  • African artist Michel Delgado will give a talk on naïve art from 4 to 6 p.m., in Room 124 of the Music Building. In addition, there will be a student exhibition “Without Boundaries,” celebrating cultural identity and diversity, featuring artwork using intaglio, lithography, woodcut, and monotype printmaking techniques.                      
  • The MC World Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Dawn Avery, and the MC Dance Company, under the direction of Professor Gail Minor-Smith, will present a concert and dance performance, 8 to 9:30 p.m., Theatre Arts Arena. Former UN Officer Denise Scotto will discuss what indigenous art is—as defined by the Commission of Human Rights and United Nations guidelines—as well as the role it plays in today’s world. The concert will feature music from Africa, Native America, Ireland, Macedonia, Russia, Jamaica, Israel, Persia, and more.

Saturday, April 12:  

  • West African drumming and song led by Joseph Ngwa, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the amphitheatre outside the Humanities Building. Ngwa is an ancestral drummer from Cameroon, a member of the African Heritage Dances and Drummers in Washington, D.C. and a founding member of the KanKouran West African Dance Company. Audience participation is encouraged.
  • Closing concert gala from 8 to 9:30 p.m., in the Music Recital Hall of the Music Building features world musician Nana and dance and video by LiquidBody performing music of Greece, Native America, India, and Yoruba, along with the MC World Ensemble. MC Professor Dawn Avery, a renowned cellist, vocalist and composer, will bring a Native American and Persian element to the music, while Joseph Ngwa will play the percussion of Cameroon.

          For more information about Montgomery College’s “World Arts Festival,” or to request accommodations for a disability, please contact Professor Dawn Avery, Music Department, Rockville Campus, at 240-567-5035, or e-mail For information about the Montgomery College Arts Institute, please contact Professor James L. Brown at 240-567-7644 or e-mail

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