The 3000 Black art exhibit takes place Sunday at Silver Hill Studios from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Provided

Silver Hill Studios hosts an Afrofuturist art exhibition Sunday called 3000 Black. The show combines visual art, poetry, live music, vendors and food, and is co-curated by Zania Cummings and Marcus McDonald. 

“3000 Black is an art exhibit that sets out to highlight the beauty of Black art and community,” Cummings said. 

Event organizers Zania Cummings (left) and Marcus McDonald selected an Afrofuturist theme for the upcoming art exhibit | Provided

Cummings is a poet and Charleston native. McDonald is an activist and lead organizer of the independent Black Lives Matter Chapter of Charleston, but said he is excited to return to his roots in art curation. 

“Some people are more known for their activism, like me, but this event shows that we are creatives too, and that we are visualizing what we wanna see for the future,” he said. “It’s a fusion of activism, art and poetry to envision a better world.”

Afrofuturism explores the intersection of the African diaspora culture with science and technology. McDonald said that the exhibition title references a Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers song with Afrofuturist themes called2,000 Blacks Got to Be Free.”

“The song envisions a world where Black folks can come together in unity in a futuristic, peaceful, utopian kind of vibe,” McDonald said. “So that was the initial inspiration for the event. We are gonna play Afrofuturist films in the background, (like works by Sun Ra,) and there will be interactive art pieces. I want it to feel like this is the last place to hang out in a post-apocalyptic world, in the year 3000.”

McDonald said that he and Cummings selected the lineup of artists with the futuristic theme in mind. 

“I wanna say over 50% of the folks on the lineup are either activists or use their voice in some type of way, so we thought that was important — celebrating people who are already involved in making a better future,” McDonald said.

The lineup features up-and-coming visual artists Joshua Parks, Leilani Key, Jaquan Hicks, Adrian Lopez Rivera, Brandon Hicks, Demetria Blooms, Lauren Ashlee and Dwight Austin. 

Musicians Ivory Keys, Semkari, Nu, Saevi and Crucial BGR will provide live music, followed by poetry readings by Cummings and McDonald. Poets Cierra C., Queen Guillotine, Truth Seeker and Asiah Mae, Charleston’s poet laureate, will join them. 

Vendors include Underwater Thugs, Vibrant Alkaline Vegan Meals, Almighty Lifestyles and Cho Love. 

“We selected the lineup based on artists that we see as thinking into the future, people who are ahead of the curve,” McDonald said. 

There is a suggested donation of $15 to attend the event. Fifteen percent of all the funds collected will be donated to the Black Liberation Fund and Fresh Future Farms. 

“It’s right before Black History Month, so we thought this time would be good to think about what we can look to for the future from an Afro-Indigenous perspective. That’s the vision for it,” McDonald said, “I’m excited to bring together a lot of great creative minds.”

Cummings added, “Authentic connection and truthfulness is exactly how art is created, and to me that’s what this city needs the most. There is a subtle renaissance happening and it is indeed because of the artist community. And at the forefront of that community is Black art. If it takes a tribe to create a space for Black expression, then I’m definitely going to be a part of that tribe.”

3000 Black takes place at Silver Hill Studios (2140 Amaker St.) Jan. 29 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Learn more here.

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