Hailing from Soweto, the South African ensemble is compromised of the city's best talent, plucked from the choirs of Soweto's churches. The group has backed musical legends like U2, Queen, Peter Gabriel and the Eurythmics and performed for the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana's Apiyo Obala says of the choir, "In addition to being entertainers, they are also global ambassadors for Nelson Mandela's 46664 Foundation, which was created specifically to raise awareness and money to fight against AIDS in Soweto. HIV & AIDS affect everyone globally, but the highest majority of people who are affected live in the Soweto township of South Africa."
Partnering with the Southwest Area Health Education Center and the Africa Diaspora Heritage Committee, PASA presents "Get Up, Do Something Day," a day to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and its effect on the Acadiana community. On Saturday, April 21, at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette, there will be a community health fair, live entertainment featuring local artists as well as step teams from Northside and Comeaux high schools. The event will also feature a teen panel discussion with a focus on HIV/AIDS and other problems facing Acadiana's youth. Free and confidential HIV/AIDS testing will be also available on site, as well as 30 different community organizations. Obala says that since the hurricanes of 2005, Acadiana has seen a surge of new residents. "There's even more of a need now to educate and make people aware of the resources that are available to them within their community," she says.
But the day of events will do more than focus on just HIV awareness. "There's another ongoing theme of a cultural connection to Africa through music," Obala says. "It's going to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, but there's also going to be a music panel discussion that will include local artists like Marc Broussard and Roy Anthony. They're not only going to talk about African music and how it's influenced their music, they're going to also perform selections from their own repertoire that demonstrates what the panel's discussing. We just thought this would be a great way to expand what PASA normally does with its outreaches, like master classes and workshops. We do entertain, but another focus of ours is education and awareness. It was a chance to do something different but that has a direct impact on the health of our community."
The Performing Arts Society of Acadiana closes out its season with a live performance by the Soweto Gospel Choir at the Heymann Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, online at www.pasa-online.org, or by calling (337) 262-8686. "Get Up and Do Something Day" will be held Saturday, April 21, at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette. For more information, call (337) 237-2787. The event will raise awareness about HIV/AIDS as well as African music and its influences on American music. The community health fair will also include panel discussions and offer free HIV/AIDS testing.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue — the second in the last four months.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.