“Dare to Dream!”
Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company and Cultural Foundation has made dreams come to fruition for forty-three years. It has sustained the dream from an initial generous donation by Virginia Commonwealth University in 1973, to the powerful impact it has in the region today. This financial support sponsored the company’s brilliant genesis. That genesis was the dream of bringing into existence a community based entity that would expose thousands of citizens to rich African culture, history and values, while fostering children’s ability to dream. In addition, it provided the opportunity to experience safe, enriching and uplifting community activities, including positive reflections and finding joy in belonging to a heritage of richness and majesty.
Ezibu Muntu’s seventy-five member company’s success can start to be measured by the following: The children’s performance company, eighteen in total; the number of collaborations the company has partnered with up and down the Eastern Seaboard; the thousands of performances in schools, colleges and civic settings; and the tens of thousands of lives that have been transformed as a result of the company’s impactful artistic excellence.
After forty three years Ezibu Muntu is, by the force of its far reaching inspiration, is naturally transitioning to the next level. It’s current location can no longer house their tremendous growth. Ezibu Muntu seeks to become even more invested in the community with the purchase of a 13,000 square foot facility in the Historic, Jackson Ward District in Richmond Virginia, a culturally rich and diverse community by forming a separate entity: The Leigh Street Cultural Center. By becoming property owners and collaborating with like minded community organizations as their tenants, Ezibu Muntu will have a more powerful, positive impact.
These organizations, under the Leigh Street Event Center banner, will become a part of a more diverse artistic community bringing in additional transformative art forms, for example: multi-media, theater, writing, and music. The Event Center will offer classes and special events to the community and will partner with organizations that require additional space to extend their services to the community. The Black History Museum, three blocks from the Center location has indicated interest in utilizing center space as a result of their existing space limitations.
This facility will offer a state-of-the-art platform conducive for multiple uses, from concerts to conferences, including tele-conferencing, banquets, receptions, seminars and workshops that extend into teaching, internships and mentoring.
Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company and Cultural Foundation (The Company) has taught African culture to children and adults, and now recognize it is time to incorporate, collaborate and expand horizons further. What better way than by being the owners of a transforming multi-level, multi-use cultural center, The Company will attain financial stability for another forty-three years and beyond while establishing the foundation to teach and show children and adults how to build dreams and establish legacies. Leading by example!
The following entities have expressed interest in collaborating with The Center: The Black Repertory Theater, The Black History Museum, The Jackson Ward Heritage Foundation, and The Virginia Black Music Foundation.
Please go to our “donate” page to see how you can help.