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"African Imprint Day"

May 21, 2007 


      WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – African storytelling, music, dancing, children’s activities and historical museum exhibits highlight “African Imprint Day” on Saturday, June 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia.
Special museum tours and interpretive programs will explore the origins of the first documented Africans to arrive in Virginia, in 1619, and the important role of Africans and African Americans in the development of Virginia.
The event is co-sponsored by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and the Virginia African American Forum, a statewide partner of “America’s 400th Anniversary.”
“African Imprint Day” will feature performances by renowned storyteller Dylan Pritchett, the gospel sounds of the Virginia Mass Choir, a cappella music and stories by Legacy of Weyanoke, African dance by Suwabi African Ballet, and jazz and rhythm and blues by Gator Allmond & Spice of Life Band.  The event also will include a workshop on African genealogy, hands-on activities for children, and ethnic foods and craft demonstrations.
Guided tours of Jamestown Settlement’s new exhibition galleries will be offered throughout the day. The galleries chronicle the nation’s 17th-century beginnings in Virginia in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and African cultures.  Exhibits explore the culture of the first known Africans in Virginia, from the kingdom of Ndongo in Angola, who had been captured during the war with the Portuguese, and display an array of African artifacts. A dramatic gallery multimedia presentation, “From Africa to Virginia,” chronicles African encounters with Europeans, the impact on African culture, and the development of the transatlantic slave trade.
In the museum’s outdoor riverfront discovery area, costumed historical interpreters will engage visitors in understanding technology used by Africans in Angola and the skills in boatbuilding, fishing and metalworking they brought to 17th-century Virginia.
Visitors also can explore re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and a colonial fort and view the special exhibition “The World of 1607,” which places early 17th-century Virginia in a global context.
Jamestown Settlement is located at the intersection of State Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway.  Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, until 6 p.m. June 15 through August 15. Admission is $13.50 for adults, and $6.25 for ages 6 through 12.  Parking is free.
Jamestown Settlement is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia that is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
For more information about Jamestown Settlement, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit
hif.ciniva.net. For information about America’s 400th Anniversary and Virginia African American Forum, visit www.Americas400thAnniversary.com.