Purchase College Spotlights Angélique Kidjo and Benin International Musical in New Global Festival

Angélique Kidjo (credit: Sonia and Mauro)

Purchase NY, Sept. 13, 2018: On Sept. 29th, Purchase College will present Grammy Award-winner Angélique Kidjo speaking on “Artist As Activist: A Passion for Freedom and Social Justice,” followed by the U.S. premiere of Benin International Musical. The events will take place at the PepsiCo Theater, Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (735 Anderson Hill Road).

Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer, activist, and humanitarian Angélique Kidjo was named one of The Guardian’s 100 most inspiring women in the world, was the first woman to appear on Forbes’s list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa, and is included on the BBC’s list of Africa’s 50 most iconic figures.

As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Kidjo travels the world advocating on behalf of women, children, and human rights. In 2007, she founded the Batonga Foundation to provide secondary education for girls across Africa and empower the female leaders of tomorrow. In this talk, Kidjo will discuss the responsibility of artists to use their platform for social justice, the many ways in which we can all give back, and the enormous impact each of us can make in the world.

Ms. Kidjo will speak from 5:00-6:30 p.m., with a VIP Meet & Greet to follow at 7:00 p.m.

Benin International Musical (BIM) will take the stage at 8:00 p.m., in its U.S. Premiere. Associating voodoo rhythms and traditional songs, electronic melodies in piquant Beninese style with trip pop grooves, hip-hop, and rock, this collective of Beninese artists is rapidly gaining international acclaim.

These events are highlights of Purchase College’s new festival and conference dedicated to celebrating international culture and history. The inaugural (T)HERE: A Global Festival of Arts, Culture & Ideas, held from Sept. 27-29, focuses on the dynamic performing and visual arts of Benin, West Africa.

Anne Kern, Purchase College’s Dean for Global Strategy and International Programs, said, “In the past two years, we have forged long-term partnerships with a number of extraordinary organizations and people in a small West African country that we feel is not yet well enough known in the U.S. We have set an ambitious goal for ourselves: through an annual festival with artistic, cultural and practical components, we seek to do our part to help redefine Global North-South cultural partnerships for the 21st century.”

For tickets/more information, go to www.artscenter.org or call 914-251-6200.

About Purchase College, SUNY – Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspiration for Purchase was to create a dynamic campus that combined conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, in order to inspire an appreciation for both intellectual and artistic talents in all students. Today, Purchase College, SUNY is a community of students, faculty, and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. For more information about the College, visit www.purchase.edu.