Black Music Series 2019

From Ancient Roots to New Beginnings

Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company & Cultural Foundation, the iconic dance company of Richmond Virginia for forty-four years, has arrived at a juncture in their sterling career that the 78-member company is now prepared to extend its artistic reach into theater, music and art. Ezibu Muntu’s EM Productions staff consists of six 1973 charter members from the original company with the exception of Tony Hall: Renee Knight, Tanya Dennis, Brenda Bentley, Karen Barber, Tony Hall, Ron Carrington and Nancy Nelson-Ewing.

The Company is requesting the mayor assist us in establishing an annual Black History Music Series in the city of Richmond at the Carpenter Theater from February to mid-March 2019. The Mayor has delivered! Thank you Mayor Stoney! Our next mission will be acquire sponsors for our $210,000 budget.

Being a non-profit 501 (3)(C) we do not possess available resources to produce the first event alone and will be seeking corporate donations. The Mayor’s office assisted us in securing the Carpenter Theater, which is affiliated with Richmond Art Alliance and Dominion Power. Dominion Power currently donates to our annual gala. The beauty of the Black History Music Series is that after the first event, music series thereafter should be self-funding. Sponsors please contact us at 323-490-6127 for a breakdown of cost and expenses.

Ezibu Muntu seeks to fill a void in the Richmond community. The Company, always the torch bearer of African culture have a responsibility to provide access to African American art and history from an authentic point of view. Who better to tell “our” story and express “our” history then us!

African Americans have a rich culture that is embedded in Americana. Jackson Ward was once known as “The Harlem Renaissance of the South.” EM Productions mission is to restore that cultural flavor back into Richmond’s artistic community.

There is a long-term agenda connected with the Black History Music Series that has been addressed in our previous outreach to the City. The development of an event center in the heart, or near Jackson Ward.

We hope to secure land that will enable the company to erect a 20,000 sq ft sprung structure to house an event center that will serve as a theater, community hall and teaching center for African American music, theater, dance, art and technology.

Richmond Art Alliance has generously agreed to work with the company to secure the Carpenter Theater. We are meeting with officials to finalize details.

The Carpenter Theater seats 1,800. Even at 50% capacity the concert series would be a profit generating event. Please see “The Plan” for more information.

Marketing strategy would heavily highlight that the Black History Music Series is a fundraiser to establish a black arts cultural center in the city of Richmond and is a tax write-off to the participant. We would generate community interest by hosting a talent search competition for talented community members to compete via U-Tube, “Richmond’s Got Talent” and the group/person garnering the most votes would appear on stage. To engender a festival atmosphere, there will be interactive activities occurring during the concert (dancers, video, etc.), with arts, clothing and craft vendors in the lobby selling or displaying African-American and African items and artwork.

Now that we have the Mayor’s support for the Black History Music Series we look forward to speaking to you further regarding this exciting project.



The talent:

  • Howard Hewitt
  • Chante Moore
  • Kenny Latimore
  • Evelyn “Champagne” King
  • Miki Howard
  • Angela Winbush

Opening acts to be determined


Songtress Chante Moore

Ways to Support Ezibu Muntu

Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company and Cultural Foundation has been a vital force in communities since 1973. Throughout the country, our traditional African and African American dance concerts have opened a world of discoveries about movement, culture, heritage and style. They depict timeless stories about what is important to us through language that everyone can understand.

Muntu means “Essence of Humanity”. We see no limits to what the human spirit can accomplish, nor boundaries between our artists and the communities where we perform. Dance is simply our way of connecting, communicating, and committing to the people with whom we share experiences and expertise.

  • Ezibu Muntu needs volunteers with sewing skills to create costumes. Patterns are available.  Having a sewing machine is necessary.
  • The Company needs bolts of fabric, feathers, bells, leather, beads and masks. Wearable African masks are a plus.  If you have that talent please contact us.
  • Church – Corporation – Bus Company Alert!  The Company will be performing in Durham North Carolina January 1st and Washington D. C. (December 26, 2016) and need a bus and driver for safe delivery to and from these upcoming events.
  • IMPORTANT! We need community support to purchase and restore The Sharon Baptist church.  The Leigh Street Event Center will be the gem of Jackson Ward.  Please share the good work that we do. – Namaste
Please contact Renee Knight at 804-687-6584  Blessings!


Healing Communities, Healing ourselves

Ezibu Muntu will expand its artistic reach by offering additional cultural arts to the community and the country.  With In collaboration with Richmond’s Black Repertory Theater, two new divisions will emerge; theater and music arts.

With 43 years of building self-esteem and knowledge of self in African American children, Ezibu Muntu’s theater division will serve as an additional tool to engage our youth and adult community in positive, supportive and nurturing programs.

EM Productions mission is to offer music, dance and theater, and engage in teaching theater arts: acting, lighting, staging and internships that result in marketable job skills.

EM Productions is committed to teaching financial literacy from elementary to adult level. Financial literacy, a critical component for survival in America’s economy is sorely missing within the African-American community, and a deficit exists within our general educational institutions. The Event Center, once completed, will offer free financial classes to children and adults. The center will also have a band room and recording studio for public use.

Conferences * Workshops * Seminars * Banquets * Receptions * Youth Programs * Theater * Dance * Music



Diamond Level: $210,000

Gold Level: $110,000

Bronze Level: $80,000

Silver Level: $50,000

Copper Level: $20,000

Friends of Ezibu Muntu: $10,000 – $5,000

Honorable Mention: $4,000 – $2,500

Drum Circle: $2000

Partner: $1000

Friend: $500

Patron: $250

Supporter: $100

Please call Founder Tanya Dennis @ 323-490-6127 regarding Sponsor perks

For more information contact: Tanya Dennis, Founder at 323-490-6127 or Renee Knight, Executive Director at 804-687-6584

Grant available upon request


If you wish to mail your 501(c)3 tax deductible gift, please send it to:

Ezibu Muntu African Dance and Cultural Foundation
6503 Old Warwick Rd.
Richmond, VA 23225

Ezibu’s dynamic performances, classes, and unique community collaborations are possible because of generous donors like you. A donation to our Foundation helps Ezibu share the wonder and excitement of African dance with students and the community. Your support also provides dance and drum scholarships for students.

Volunteer with Ezibu

Share your love for performing arts by volunteering with Ezibu Muntu. We need help with administrative and programmatic initiatives. If you would like to help click here.