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December 11th, 1996
Art Museum Hosts Kwanzaa Celebration

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will host a celebration of Kwanzaa with Keepers of the Culture, Philadelphia's Afrocentric storytelling group, during their Fourth Annual Kwanzaa Celebration on Saturday, December 28. The event will begin at 12:00 p.m. with six workshops exploring the storytelling tradition, and culminate in a Storytelling Performance, beginning at 3:00 p.m., based on the nguzo saba, The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. Participants in the workshops will explore a variety of themes, including movement and body language, the story as an educational tool, and the preservation of family history. There will also be a hands-on lesson on Kwanzaa crafts, and participants will be able to take home their creations. Come with energy, curiosity, and your kuumba--creativity. Keepers of the Culture's workshops, like the performance to follow, offer something for individuals of every age and background.

The Storytelling Performance will follow the workshops at 3:00 p.m., and will be held in the Van Pelt Auditorium. The high-energy performance will feature eight members of Keepers of the Culture, African drums, dance, and, of course, stories.

Keepers of the Culture view the storytelling tradition as a means to educate and nurture, and to foster pride and understanding. Traditional African storytellers, "griots," served as historians within their communities. They were responsible for passing on customs, values and an understanding of the past to future generations. Today, Keepers of the Culture preserve this oral tradition.

The Kwanzaa Celebration at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is free after Museum admission. Museum admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children under 18, students with valid ID, and senior citizens. Free Sundays until 1 p.m. Members free at all times. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday evenings until 8:45 p.m. Closed on Mondays and major holidays.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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