A six-day celebration of African arts that features artists from the continent as well as its diaspora, both global and local, this is less a festival than a cultural and sensory explosion. Minnesota's own substantial population of Africans ensures that many favorites from damn near every place and medium are featured: the infectious Habib Koité and his band from Mali on Wednesday, an outdoor showcase featuring local golden boy M.anifest on Saturday, and Monday's closer K'Naan, the "Dusty Foot Philosopher" from Toronto by way of Somalia, a true child of the hip-hop generation with talent that elicits must-see status. Plus there's plenty of other visual and culinary treats throughout that are just as savory, such as the films Hip-Hop Colony and Music Is the Weapon. The music will sizzle and the images will sweat, and the gathering of young and old, here and there, all under the long reach of African expression by way of the Americas and back again—that's a funky thing. Through August 11. All ages.
Wed., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m., 2008