Omari Wiles/Les Ballet Afrik: Afrik Fusion Master Class

Join us for a master class taught by Les Ballet Afrik founder and director Omari Wiles which will explore West African and Vogue dance techniques.

Les Ballet Afrik Bio

Les Ballet Afrik is a multi-cultural dance company that explores the masculine and feminine energies within different dance forms. Our mission is to bridge the gap between the progressive LGBTQ community and the traditions of the Diaspora. We hope to bring awareness to the Black and Latino experience within the ballroom scene, and put a focus on the importance of
community, and connection to ancestry. Rooted in Traditional African, House, Vogue, and Latin movement, and under the direction of legendary Omari “Oricci” Wiles, Les Ballet Afrik has pioneered a new movement style called “Afrikfusion”, a unique blend of dance and movement unlike anything that’s ever been done before.

Omari Wiles Bio

Ousmane Wiles was born in West Africa Senegal. He began his training in West African dance at the age of six years old. Wiles then joined his mother—Marie Basse Wiles—and became the assist director to her company: The Maimouna Ketia School of African Dance. Working with master African dancers, Ousmane devolved the skills needed to teach the art of traditional African. Venturing further into the world of dance, Wiles found himself learning, training and falling in love with other styles such as Hip-Hop, House, Modern, and Vogue. Wiles has been given the chance to work with many artist such as: Beyonce, Jidenna, Rashaad Newsome, Zuma Zuma, Wunmi, Estelle, Gala, Kenya Moore, Cuba Gooding Jr.,and more. Ousmane is now evolving his own style of dance blending African, Vogue and House as one. He is the founder of LES BALLET AFRIK.

ArtPower at UC San Diego is a Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN Artist Engagement Fund. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information visit

Blacktronika: Sound for Humanity

Blacktronika presents Sound for Humanity, a series of performances by six music creative artists, who were asked to think about sound, not only in its sonic definition (noun) but sound as an adjective (sound mind) and verb (sound the alarm), and how their choices will contribute in some way to humanity.

Performers include:
Maria Chavez, Conceptual Sound Artist
Lisa Vazquez, Soul improvisor
Stro Elliot, Rhythm scientist
Melz, Mood composer
Ari Melenciano, Sound artist
King Britt, Polymath producer

Blacktronika: Afrofuturism in Electronic Music is a UCSD course created by Assistant Teaching Professor King Britt, that shines a light on innovators of color who have contributed to the global advancement of electronic music.

“The idea behind Sound for Humanity is for each of us to create a message for humanity through our sonic palette and performance.  When thinking about the word, Sound, I felt  we could express sound as a noun (obvious), adjective (sound mind … safe and sound) and verb (sound the alarm) ….. keeping  these intentions in mind within our creative process. Each artist will stretch the boundaries of their personal sounds and process, expanding on sonic space.”—King Britt

April 28: Maria Chavez, King Britt, and Lisa Vazquez Tickets to April 28 > 
April 29: Stro Elliot, Ari Melenciano, and Melz Tickets to April 29 > 
Access to the entire festival > 

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Two Destination Language: A Journey of a Home

Available March 20-28: Listen on your own time

The piece takes audience members on an audio walk where hopes come up against the reality of experience on a trip into the unknown – don’t worry, we’re holding your hand!

With themes of identity, border crossing and migration at the heart of the work, the piece deals with the ‘long moment’ created through the act of travelling, in which hope meets reality, the place where we simultaneously look towards the future and back at what we have just left.

In gently questioning what home is, the piece reflects on all things that make our home- family, friends, environments and possessions- the physical things which support, reinforce and bound our identity.

The piece is based on an autobiographical experience of a girl’s first travel to the UK and her settlement into the new culture. It specifically follows her steps from Sofia airport (in Bulgaria) to taking the plane to London Heathrow and the experience of first encountering the new, the known, the exciting and the intimidating at the arrivals gate before continuing on.

The main narrative of the girl’s journey to the UK is fragmented by a second voice who questions and reminisces on ideas of travel and its availability, home, language, time and what it might feel to be one of the many at the long queue before passport control.


Premiere: c.a.t.a.m.o.n Dance Group

Dancer Rand Zeid Taha and choreographer Elad Schechter of c.a.t.a.m.o.n. Dance Group collaborate on a performance across borders. Performed live on stage in Jerusalem where both were born, Premiere “looks for a moment when everything will freeze and it will finally become possible to breathe.” The pair seek out how dance can become an international language which can bridge cultural differences and be used as a tangible tool for social change, particularly between their two religions.

After the performance stay for a conversation with the dancer and choreographer live from Jerusalem.

Elad Schechter is a Jerusalem native dancer and choreographer and a graduate of the High School for the Arts in Jerusalem. He served in the IDF Theatre Department and danced in many professional companies before founding the c.a.t.a.m.o.n Dance Group in Jerusalem in 2021. He also founded the annual ‘From Jaffa to Agripas’ Festival in Jerusalem’s famous Machne Yehuda Market.

Rand Zeid Taha is a Palestinian Dancer from Jerusalem. She graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. A member of the Academy’s Ensemble and its excellence performance program, Taha won 3rd place her senior year in the annual ‘Gertrude Strauss Choreography Competition’. She was also awarded the Henny Jurriens Summer Intensive Scholarship in Amsterdam. Taha is performing with c.a.t.a.m.o.n Dance Group and took part in the CINARS Biennale 2018, in Montreal.

This program is presented in partnership with the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University, and sponsored by the Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative and UC Berkeley.


Expand Your Horizons: A Conversation with Karamo

ArtPower and UC San Diego’s Associated Students Office of Concerts & Events (ASCE) present three-time Emmy Winner, television host, actor, and author, Karamo Brown. Brown draws from his work as a social worker to show how he both discovered and learned to explore his many different “identities.” Whether as a black man, openly gay man, a son of immigrant parents, a Christian, a single father, or former social worker; Karamo strategically utilizes the strengths of his numerous identities to achieve success – and teaches others to do the same.

The Expand Your Horizons Series will feature a range of speakers and acts that will help showcase relevant social and political topics. It will take place throughout Winter and Spring quarters. Sign language interpretation and closed captioning will be available.

If you’re interested in submitting a question for Karamo, please submit them here:


*Closed Captioning and ASL signing services will be made available for this program.

Campus Partners:
UC San Diego Associated Students Office of Concerts & Events (ASCE)

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Somi: in the absence of things

Experience a screening preview of in the absence of things, an experimental short film written and performed by renowned jazz-vocalist Somi and directed by Mariona Lloreta.  Created during the COVID-19 pandemic, the work is a lyrical meditation on the profound sense of personal vacancy that a performer feels in the absence of live performance.  The film also aims to frame the disruption of otherwise quieted cultural spaces as a larger metaphor for the work most American arts institutions still need to do in service of Black storytelling.  Following the screening Somi and Mariona will discuss the conception and making of the film.

This film was originally commissioned by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at University of Illinois, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and ArtsEmerson Boston.

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Somi: Creative Process as Anthropological Witness

Using examples based on her life journey through Lagos, Dakar, Johannesburg, and New York City, Somi leads audiences through a retrospective survey of her recording career to date while offering insight into how personal story, people, and/or place can inspire deeper storytelling. Moderated by Professor Walton Muyumba of Indiana University.

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A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler: A Conversation with Author Lynell George

A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler​ offers a blueprint for a creative life from the perspective of award-winning science-fiction writer and “MacArthur Genius” Octavia E. Butler. Written by award-winning author Lynell George, this book was drawn from her time researching the Octavia E. Butler archive at the Huntington Library as the recipie​nt of the library’s ​Alan Jutzi Fellowship.​ More than a biography, ​A Handful of Earth, a Handful of Sky​ is a collection of ideas about how a writer looks, listens, and breathes—how to ​be​ in the world. The book​ draws the reader into Butler’s world, creating a sense of unmatched intimacy with the deeply private writer.

George not only engages the world that shaped Octavia E. Butler, she also explores the very specific processes through which Butler shaped herself—her unique process of self-making. It’s about creating a life with what little you have—hand-me-down books, repurposed diaries, journals, stealing time to write in the middle of the night, making a small check stretch—bit by bit by bit. ​

George will be in conversation with Los Angeles artist Connie Samaras, an avid admirer of Butler’s prose which served as the inspiration for her 2019 project “The Past is Another Planet”, an illustrious depiction of the Huntington Library, home to Butler’s archive. 

Campus Partner:
the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
This program was made possible by a grant from the office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at UC San Diego

SuperPOWERED Pricing

SuperPOWERED pricing is listed for all our virtual events. It’s the the average price you would’ve paid to see the event live. Thank you for being our superhero!


Day With(out) Art 2020: TRANSMISSIONS

UC San Diego is proud to partner with Visual AIDS for Day With(out) Art 2020 by presenting TRANSMISSIONS, a program of six new videos considering the impact of HIV and AIDS beyond the United States. The video program brings together artists working across the world: Jorge Bordello (Mexico), Gevi Dimitrakopoulou (Greece), Las Indetectables (Chile), Lucía Egaña Rojas (Chile/Spain), Charan Singh (India/UK), and George Stanley Nsamba (Uganda).

The program does not intend to give a comprehensive account of the global AIDS epidemic, but provides a platform for a diversity of voices from beyond the United States, offering insight into the divergent and overlapping experiences of people living with HIV around the world today. The six commissioned videos cover a broad range of subjects, such as the erasure of women living with HIV in South America, ineffective Western public health campaigns in India, and the realities of stigma and disclosure for young people in Uganda. 

As the world continues to adapt to living with a new virus, COVID-19, these videos offer an opportunity to reflect on the resonances and differences between the two epidemics and their uneven distribution across geography, race, and gender.

Celebrate the Arts 2020

Join us for a Zoom webinar to learn all about arts on campus. Watch info videos from campus arts departments and student orgs, ask questions to representatives from each of the arts organizations, and play a friendly game of Kahoot to win prizes.

Participating organizations include:

    • ArtPower at UC San Diego
    • Ballet Folklorico La Joya de Mexico
    • UC San Diego Music
    • UC San Diego Theatre & Dance
    • UC San Diego Visual Arts
    • UC San Diego Division of Arts & Humanities
    • Stuart Collection
    • UCSD Extension: Arts, Humanities, & Languages
    • KOTX
    • La Jolla Playhouse
    • UCSD Zor
    • and more!