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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Boston’s Premiere Performing Arts Center Celebrates the African American Experience With a Compilation of Poetry, Dance, Music and Scenes

Performers of Our Story

NationwideOrigiNation Cultural Arts Center – pioneers of innovative and dynamic performing arts programs that motivate, challenge, and inspire youth to be the best they can be – will host Our Story! Celebrating the African American Experience on Saturday, February 17, 2024, begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Strand Theater at 543 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA. All are invited to attend a private dress rehearsal on Tuesday, February 13, for a unique sneak peek of the production and to meet this dynamic cast.

OrigiNation, under the direction of its Founding Artistic Director and renowned choreographer Shaumba Yandje Dibinga, is proud to present Our Story, a unique and powerful performance that celebrates the rich history and culture of African and African American people. Our Story is a compilation of poetry, dance, music, and scenes from historical and current events that have shaped and defined the African and African American experience. The performances will feature talented students from local colleges, high schools, and middle schools, as well as OrigiNation’s own Professional Dance Division. Join us for an unforgettable evening of artistry, history, and inspiration.

Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga oversees the operations of all of OrigiNation’s programs. Ms. Dibinga has extensive training and over 30 years of teaching and performance experience in African, tap, hip-hop, swing, gospel, ballet, step, modern, and jazz. She received dance training at the Boston Conservatory and the Alvin Ailey School and is a former principal dancer and choreographer for Ebony Inspiration and a former Boston All City Dance Company member. She is an actress, writer, and director of plays and musicals, including Tafuta! A Young Boy’s Search for the True Meaning of Kwanzaa, which opened in 2011. Ms. Dibinga is also the co-director and co-producer of Our Story, A Celebration of the African American Experience through Music, Dance, and Spoken Word.

Ms. Dibinga has received numerous awards for her work with OrigiNation, including the Barr Foundation Fellowship Class of 2011, the Boston Neighborhood Fellows Award, The Boston Renaissance Charter Public School Legends Award, The Philanthropic Initiative’s Boston Fellows Award, Pearl Primus Scholar, Afrikan Achievers Award, the Friends of Melnea Cass Youth
and Community Service Award, the Portraits of Courage Upstander’s Award, and the Linde Family Foundation 2018 Youth Arts Bridge Courage Award. She has also appeared in several feature films, musicals, industrials, television commercials, and interviews, including WCVB’s Chronicle, Sunday Morning with Liz Walker, and Urban Update. She is a trustee at the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School and earned her B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

To purchase tickets for Our Story, please visit https://OURSTORY2024.eventbrite.com. Tickets are $25. Those unable to attend Our Story but interested in supporting OrigiNation may do so by visiting the donation page.

Established in 1994 by Artistic Director Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga, OrigiNation, Incorporated is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that produces innovative and dynamic performing arts programs that motivate, challenge, and inspire youth to be the best they can be. We offer quality dance, theater arts, and African history education. Emphasis is placed on teaching young people between the ages of 2 and 18 the importance of self-respect, health, nutrition, education, self-esteem, and the extent of African influences on various contemporary art forms. Every year, the organization serves approximately 150 youths through our on-site programs and an additional 1,500 youth through our off-site programs. They train the youth of all levels in multiple dance forms, public speaking, and martial arts.

OrigiNation also implements special initiatives to raise our students’ awareness about pertinent social issues and to facilitate their development into well-rounded, productive citizens within their families and communities. While our programs are open to all youth, we focus on providing services to young people from Boston’s underserved neighborhoods, including Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. For more information, please visit OriginationInc.org.

For press inquiries, contact Musau Dibinga, OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, musau@originationinc.org or 617-308-6322.