Queen Ann Nzinga Center holding Kwanzaa event Dec. 30

The Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. presents its 27st Annual Kwanzaa Celebration on Friday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. at the historic Trinity-on-Main, 69 Main St., New Britain.

Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday observed each winter, encourages the traditional values of family, community, responsibility, commerce and self-improvement. The celebration is open to people of all ages, races, cultures and faiths, and all are invited.

This year, the show is presented in collaboration with the Waterbury Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, a women’s service organization devoted to enriching and sustaining African culture and people of African descent.

Karen Lynne Gatling, of Waterbury has been involved in arts enrichment programs at the Queen Ann Nzinga Center since age 4. Now a senior in high school and a member of Girls, Inc., a girl empowerment program, she is serving as an ambassador between the two programs. With sponsorship from The Links, several teenagers from Girls, Inc. will join QANC participants and attend rehearsals, learn about Kwanzaa and perform in this year’s celebration.

Along with traditional Kwanzaa rituals of African Drumming and Dance, the Libation Statement, candle lighting and positive affirmations, the Queen Ann Nzinga Center participants will perform in a musical entitled “A Change in Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) High School.” Based on the seven principles of Kwanzaa, the show demonstrates how the concepts of this holiday can be applied to everyday life. Playwright and program facilitator Rebecca Trapp, who has been involved with the Queen Ann Nzinga Center since childhood, wrote the script for the musical to capture the Kwanzaa concepts in action.

The performers include a mix of professionals, children and teenagers who will offer an eclectic show consisting of gospel, jazz, soul, pop and Hip Hop music. The celebration will feature music from Nzinga’s Daughters, Nzinga’s Watoto, legendary soul singer Betty Harris and others.

The performance is made possible thanks to funding from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, American Savings Foundation, City of New Britain, J. Walton Bissell Foundation and George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and youth.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Jiana Smith plays her violin.

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