The African-Brazilian Lavagem Festival

Greetings! I am Tamara Williams, one of the Directors/Cultural Preservers for Bloco Afro Ayedun. Luciano Xavier and I are raising funds for our second annual African-Brazilian Lavagem Festival from April 13-16, 2023, in Charlotte, NC.

Lavagem Festival shares, teaches, documents and archives Brazilian Black arts culture with Charlotte communities while cultivating a space for fellowship with activities such as dance and music workshops, cultural performances, a lavagem procession and panel discussions. A lavagem is an African- Brazilian practice (with Yoruba roots); it is a gathering of people to cleanse themselves from negative energies and situations. This lavagem is a means of caring for the community and celebrates resiliency. In addition to documenting and sharing Black Brazilian arts, our festival highlights and archives footage of other Black arts organizations and histories are shared during the Lavagem festival. During our inaugural year, this included the soulful voice of Ali Steele, West African dancing and drumming, and the classic African-American sport of double dutch by the Jumping Dreams Double Dutch team. In addition, Ramona Big Eagle and her daughter presented narratives and dances representing local Indigenous communities. We also raised funds for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of North Carolina! Our 2022 Lavagem Festival united more than 250 participants during the 4-day event.

We will continue to share traditional narratives that have been passed to us through lived experiences and community practices and share them with the diverse communities of Charlotte. Master Teachers who presented and taught in our 2022 festival and will return in 2023 include Rosangela Silvestre, Vera Passos, Jose Ricardo, Dandha da Hora and Nildinha Fonseca who are African-Brazilian and cultural ambassadors. Mestre Jelon (who brought capoeira to the US during the 1970s) also taught.

We are raising funds in the amount of $3000 to help cover the costs of:
(1). Airfare; three of our festival Master Teachers reside in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The others will fly to Charlotte from NYC and California.
(2). Housing; we will provide housing accommodations for our guests via Airbnb and hotels during the length of their stay in Charlotte.
(3). Meals; we won't have time to cook meals for our guests each day of the festival, so we want to ensure an adequate budget for three meals.

The African-Brazilian Lavagem Festival educates while connecting African-Brazilian cultures with Black and Latine cultures in our region. This festival is our means of nurturing, celebrating and supporting authentic Indigenous and African-Brazilian culture and creative expression in Charlotte.

*The Lavagem Festival is brought to you by Bloco Afro Ayédùn. Ayédùn means life is sweet in the Yoruba language. A Bloco Afro is a community organization that reinforces pride in African heritage and culture through music, dance, songs, cooking, education, and more. As a Bloco Afro, we will also address social issues such as racism, disenfranchisements in education, employment, health, and other concerns for Black and brown people.​

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Charlotte, NC

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