The Cross-Cultural Coalition (CCC) is a non-profit organization that provides donors, advocates and volunteers the organization they require to create diverse educational and cultural events and opportunities for South Side Tallahassee residents.
CCC offers free: 1) public programs moderated by academic scholars on history, dance, art, music and film of cultures across the globe, including Africa and the Diaspora; 2) performances by local and visiting artists; 3) art exhibitions and sales; 4) international opportunities for children and adults; and 5) scholars to liaison with South Side public schools to help enhance students’ experiences, desires, and chances to successfully attend college.
Dr. Jan DeCosmo is Director and Ms. Lili Forbes is Coordinator/Producer. CCC is located at 645 McDonnell Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32310.
ArtiGras is similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and is comprised of activities, displays, vendors, and stage performances, leading up to a parade around the square. Led by a brass band, the parade includes groups and individuals who have created their own costumes or small floats, decorated their cars, or dressed up their dogs. Again, as a family festival, ArtiGras makes a special effort to educate and involve Southside students.
Caribé! focuses on the arts and crafts, music, dance, food, and folklife of the Caribbean. Its highlight is an exciting parade of participants who have created their own masks and costumes, led by a Bahamian Junkanoo band. A family festival, Caribé! seeks especially to involve elementary, secondary and high school students from the Southside Community Redevelopment Area.
A more recent goal for CCC is to bring the humanities to the public by hosting scholarly events that are about the many diverse cultures that are found here in Tallahassee, and that feature a variety of interesting components to attract and educate participants.
Lastly, we are now producing an Annual Sankofa Concert at Cascades. These concerts feature the music, dance, songs, stories, folktales, and other expressive arts from Africa and the African Diaspora, with emphasis on Caribbean and African-American cultures.
Our new Annual Sankofa Concert series, held outdoors at Cascades amphitheater in Tallahassee, features the music, dance, songs, stories, folktales, and other expressive arts of Africa and the African Diaspora, with emphasis on Caribbean and African-American cultures. The Sankofa bird is an African symbol depicting a bird moving forward, but looking backward, with an egg in its beak (or at its feet). It means that to make progress into the future, you must know your past and you must teach that past (history and heritage) to the young ones, the generations to come.
The First Annual Sankofa Concert was held inside at the Moon because of rain. Based on the short film “Underground,” that won 21 awards in 28 film festivals and two student Emmys, our first Sankofa concert featured original songs and classic Negro spirituals, choreography and a script. Writer, producer, director and professor from Tallahassee (a graduate of FAMU and FSU), Akil DuPont, came from Atlanta to produce it, with the help of our own Lili Forbes and over 35 cast members.
The musical was a wonderful way to learn about the history of the Underground Railroad.
The plot (1850) is as follows: “In a story told through song and with dreams of freedom tugging at his soul, Bali plans to escape from slavery after learning that his master, Jacob, is going to sell his young daughter, Emala, to help cover the financial losses that he has suffered from a drought. The slaves strike out in the dead of night, singing Negro spirituals that they hope will protect them on their perilous journey to freedom and the Underground Railroad. Can Bali lead them to freedom, or will the master find them and force them back into to a life of servitude?”
We look forward to the Second Annual Sankofa Concert next year.
In keeping with our mission statement, all of our events are free and open to the public.
These individuals and groups are invested in the organization and will help us grow it.
“Partners” are consultants who advise us and who, in turn, are also represented by us. They include:
- Mickey Adair, photographer
- Bourne Brilliant, youth-run hand-crafted plant-based cuisine
- Dr. Gylbert Coker, Mitchell-Young-Anderson Museum, Thomasville, Ga.
- Sherika Duncan, Excellence Dance Studio
- Lililita Forbes (Lyrical Lynn), singer, producer and band leader
- Paula Sofia Gomez, singer and advocate of Colombian and Latin Culture
- Robert Griffin, jazz faculty liaison with students at FAMU
- Afua Hall, Dance Educator & Choreographer
- Courtnay Micots, Art Historian, FAMU
- Joshua Rivers, FSU graduate student jazz liaison
- Cynthia Rose, FAMU faculty member & poet
- Avis Simmonds, Caribbean-American poet/author
- Evelyn Tyler, Theatre Educator, FAMU
- Olusegun Williams, Pyramid Productions