[image-1]The melting pot that is the Lowcountry will be spotlighting some of its own during the 30th Annual MOJA Arts Festival. Sponsored by the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the week-and-a-half-long event celebrates African and Caribbean cultures in the Southeast.

Event subjects include a historical range of the African-American experience, from today to the early slavery era. Festival coordinator, Romaine Marion-Heyward, feels strongly about the Festival’s significance to Charleston. “MOJA is as important as SEWE and Spoleto Piccolo. Preservation of any ethnic group is vital because you have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

MOJA opens Sept. 26 with the Caribbean Street Parade on King Street which will flow into the Opening Reception at Dock Street Theatre. The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company will be reviving the dance portion of the Festival that was noticeably absent from last year, and popular jazz saxophonist Marion Meadows will be performing at the Family Circle Stadium later on in the week. The Dart Library will be designated as a Historical Site for its educational importance to the African-American community during the segregation period. The variety of events help to highlight parts of the culture that don’t always make textbooks or newspapers. “It is helpful for both the youth and the older generations,” says Marion-Heyward. “I didn’t know that the Dart Library held so much meaning for the African-American community before now, I just thought it was a library. MOJA helps bring attention to this history.”

Many of the events are free and all are open to the public. See the full schedule and buy tickets here.