A lot of arts and cultural establishments in Rochester have begun their personal reopening procedures adhering to the “stage four” nod from Governor Andrew Cuomo, but on Wednesday The Baobab Cultural Centre introduced that it will completely shut its College Avenue spot.
“As the area starts to reopen, we know that many of you could be pondering what is going on with the Baobab,” Co-founders Dr. Moka Lantum and Dr. Cheryl Kodjo wrote in an e-mail sent to patrons and the media. “We regret to advise you that we are closing our College Avenue spot as of July 30th, suspending in-person functions.”
This information follows a stretch of financial hardship and uncertainty the centre has experienced, and which resulted in a phone for community aid in 2018 (complete context in CITY’s write-up from that time, “The Baobab will make a community charm”).
A valued portion of Rochester’s cultural community, The Baobab has introduced community programming these as yoga, movie screenings, drumming classes, artwork displays, and author visits, such as a book signing with activist and Poet Laureate of New Jersey, Amiri Baraka, in 2010. It has also been the meeting house for teams these as Exhibiting Up for Racial Justice.
The centre was also residence to “Impressive Africa,” an enlightening long-lasting show that tells the arcane and normally suppressed histories of ancient African civilizations, the diaspora, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, political and social movements, and African and African American arts and music.
Wednesday’s e-mail provided no certainty about the institution’s future, but alluded to possibilities: “We hope to achieve out to you again when it is a brighter instant in our collective heritage. In the meantime, be properly and be safe and sound.”
The founders and Government Director, Terry Chaka, ended up not straight away out there for comment. This is a creating tale.
Rebecca Rafferty is CITY’s arts & amusement editor. She can be arrived at at [email protected].