Visual Arts

Visual Arts components of the festival annually include a juried art exhibition with an artists’ reception and juror’s talk. Past MOJA poster artists have included Amiri Farris; Synthia Saint James; John Christopher Wright II; Cedric Umoja; Fletcher Williams III; works by Philip Simmons; Alvin B. Glen; Jonathan Green; Doyle William Cloyd; and many others.

The 2022 festival also included openings at the Avery Research Center of the shows mothers and daguerreotypes from brittney ferrette washington and Da Wada Brought Us and Kept Us curated by the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Center.


Past productions have been presented by Art Forms and Theatre Concepts along with performances by Lady in White Productions, PURE Theatre, Charleston Black Theatre and many others in such theatres as the Dock Street Theatre other venues. For 2022, Art Forms and Theatre Concepts has rescheduled their MOJA production for December 1 – 11 at Cannon Street Arts Center. Details will be available at

Heritage & Community

Heritage and Community events have included activities celebrating African-American and Caribbean culture and heritage in the Lowcountry. Local performers, activities for children, poetry readings, youth performances, and workshops are always on offer alongside community partners and social service organizations.


MOJA Arts Festival has featured some of the most talented musical artists not only locally but nationally and internationally. Such artists and groups have included Charleston favorites Ranky Tanky; Quiana Parler and Friends; Hot Buttered Soul; Mighty Joshua with the Zion 5 and Keith Porter; Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa and Super Deluxe; The Dubplates and Future Fambo.

Musical events have included our annual Gospel Series, the College of Charleston Gospel Choir, and special events like Soul in the Garden with Zandrina Dunning and Christian Smalls at the Gibbes Museum. Other featured music has included the environmental works of contemporary composer John Luther Adams, The Journey of Hymns Through History; Ellington’s Sacred Concerts at the Charleston Gaillard Center with Charlton Singleton, Nathan L. Nelson, and Lowcountry Voices and Friends; and First Class Band aboard the Spirit of Charleston. The Charleston Music Hall played host to Higher Ground: The Music of Stevie Wonder and Woman & Cooke: A Tribute to Sam Cooke.

Community events like the Jazz on King Block Party and One Love: A Celebration of African-American & Caribbean Culture have also been a part of the festival’s celebrations.


Dance events in the past have included internationally renowned performances by Harambee Dance Company, funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission; Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company ; the Dance Theatre of Harlem who was cop-presented with the Charleston Gaillard Center; Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO); and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Community events, like the annual Gullah MOJA Art Experience and performances at the Charleston County Public Library – Main Library from Harambee Dance Company, have also been included in past festival celebrations.

Health & Recreation

Past health and recreational events have included junior and adult tennis tournaments and the Charleston Boxing Club Annual MOJA Cup.


Literary events in the past have included Black Ink: The Charleston African-American Book Festival; the 2018 MOJA Festival forged partnerships with the inaugural Free Verse Festival and the NEA Big Read to present an incredible lineup of literary events. Annual offerings include a poetry and storytelling series with numerous local and regional poets such as Carolos Johnson and the Speak Freely Foundation, Damon Fordham, Regina Duggins, Horace Mungin, and many others. Other featured literary events are our annual Swahili Workshop, outreach in local schools with a 4th Grade Readout day and Children’s programming at the main branch library.

The festival was also awarded an NEA Big Read Grant (2022-23) for the novel Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Several discussions were hosted at Charleston County Public Library branches, and a juried art exhibition was opened to the community and on view at City Gallery from November 11, 2022 to January 29, 2023.

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