A celebration & recognition of the African-Urban experience as a local and global phenomenon.
Afro Urban Society is a creative community committed to sustaining the resiliency, interconnection and unique artistic and cultural expressions and contributions of people of African descent in urban settings around the world.
Through original and curated arts & event production, popular arts education and community engagement we create spaces for people of African descent to tell their own stories. We celebrate the reality that Africans are of many cultures and nations. Afro Urban Society is created and driven by our constituents, our context, history and identities. We are the community that we serve.
Bacchanal de Afrique: Multidisciplinary festival of Urban African arts & culture
Afro-Urban Dance Experience: Popular Afro-Diasporic dance workshops, performances & cultural commentary
The Lost African Project: Gathering for 1-3rd generation people of African descent searching to connect with others like them
Wakabout Express: Travel cultural exchange project for people of African Descent
Nisa Raqs: Cultural exchange project between women and girls of Arab & African descent
Gbedu Town Radio: Afro-pop ensemble of dancers & musicians
One3snapshot: Original apparel, accessories, publications and art
Afro Urban Society (AUS) began in 2004 with One3snapshot, founded by Nkeiruka Oruche, Anneli Akinde and Chinenye Aneke, as a collective of creatives producing art that spoke to the African urban experience. In 2005 under the Danceslave project, AUS began offering dance classes and workshops as well as D-fuse, an Afro-dance performance company for girls and young women emphasizing cultivating identity in a complex world.
In 2009, AUS began collaborating with local artists and performers of African descent to produce small community events that create relationships among people of all Afro ethnicities through population music, street dance and continental aesthetics. Bacchanal de Afrique emerged as the signature event. To deepen its impact and carry out its mission, AUS has collaborated with various entities over the years - including Nigerian Entertainment, Bassey Ikpi, Dance Mission, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Stern Grove Festival, Oakland Museum of California, and Nike Centre for Art and Culture - to produce over 90 public events, workshops, art, artist collaborations and performances.
In 2017, with financial support from individuals, artists and grants, we began enriching our programs and expanding who we serve, including Arab refugees and immigrants.
Today, AUS operates as an ‘artist incubator’ for low-income people of African descent to create, perform and collaborate. AUS aims to bring in and promote more artists, provide more consistent programming, tighten its vision and create a powerful and reliable support network for affiliated artists.
The Umoja Festival
Priority Africa Network
Dance Mission Theater
Zellerbach Family Foundation
Kenneth Rainin Foundation
California Arts Council
City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program
Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Dancers’ Group’s CA$H Grant Program