Evergreen at dusk

Beyond the Grave: Ancestral Healing Ceremony

Artboard 1

Saturday, May 15, 2021,
4pm - 5pm

Evergreen Cemetery
261 Evergreen Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Early Bird $18 General & $10 MAH Members

Join the MAH's new series of multidisciplinary performances at Evergreen Cemetery as artists connect Santa Cruz County's past with the present moment.

Artists and performers introduce new, site-specific work for this series of intimate performances. Inspired by the stories and landscape of the historic Evergreen Cemetery, dancers, spoken word artists, and musicians reimagine the space with new commissions.

"Beyond the Grave ceremony will acknowledge the ancestors that exist on the other side of the universe, on the other side of our reality. The ceremony will honor London Nelson’s legacy and reconnect his spirit to his African ancestral heritage."

- Vivien Bassouamina

May 15th - 16th | Ancestral Healing Ceremony

When visiting Evergreen Cemetery, traditional Congolese dancer, Vivien Bassouamina and community healer, Luna Leo, were pulled and inspired by the story of London Nelson. Called to find out more about those buried at Evergreen, in their research they learned there are multiple Black people are buried in the plot surrounding London. For the third commission of Beyond the Grave, these artists have decided to honor these ancestors with traditional funerary practices through interactive storytelling and dance.

This event was created and funded in part by the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center (TWDCC), as it supports their Black Health Matters Initiative and Diaspora Performance Project. TWDCC facilitates a working home for the professional world & contemporary dance artists while providing dance education that is committed to access, equity, and excellence. Black Health Matters is a community initiative that promotes equity through a network of community trust, advocacy, and collaboration to improve the quality of life for black residents in Santa Cruz County. Diaspora Performance Project gives professional support to 5 selected cultural artists. This program seeks to support the thriving community of artists of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for the development of new work, a deep and meaningful connection to our community, and performance opportunity.

Performing Artists

Support for the MAH's performing arts programming is provided by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Luna leo

Community Healer

Luna HighJohn Bey

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Vivien Bassouamina

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Seating is limited – this event series is limited to 30 guests per performance.
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Event FAQ

Early Bird Pricing is on sale now until Sunday, May 2nd – $18 for general admission and $10 MAH Members.

Then, beginning Monday, May 3rd tickets will increase to $20 General Admission and $12 MAH Members.

Purchase Your Ticket on Eventbrite

Yes, to maintain social distancing we will have seats grouped together by party. If you hope to sit near friends or family, we recommend purchasing your tickets under one name through one transaction. We are happy to make reasonable accommodations if you reach out to Learning & Engagement Manager, Jamie Keil -jamie@santacruzmah.org prior to the event. Get in touch early to reserve your seating arrangement.

For questions, concerns, or requests regarding a disability-related accommodation please contact Learning & Engagement Manager, Jamie Keil -jamie@santacruzmah.org.

Let's continue to care for another as we enjoy this outdoor event. We will have hand sanitizer readily available, a no-contact check-in process, and masks will be required on-site.

To maintain social distancing during the event seats will be grouped by your Eventbrite reservation and spaced 6ft apart from other groups.

No, but there is a public restroom about a 5 minute walk from the event at Harvey West Park.

No, in the case of rain we will reschedule the event for June 5th & 6th. You will be contacted prior to the event if a weather delay occurs.