Best Of 2019

Best Time Travel Opportunity: Sankofa Experience

Time travel doesn’t require a DeLorean or 1.21 gigawatts of power. Sometimes, all it takes is the collective will to look backward. At least, that’s the concept that drove Jennie Wright’s Sankofa Experience, an immersive art project that used performance, curation and cosplay to transform the People’s Liberty Globefront Gallery into a time-warp portal. The name Sankofa —a Ghanaian phrase that means “go back and get it” — represents a desire to return to happier moments in history while learning from those memories. For the first stretch of Sankofa, which kicked off Feb. 2 and ran through Feb. 24, 2019, the space transported guests to The Cotton Club, a Harlem venue that flourished in the mid-1920s, hosting now-legendary performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Josephine Baker. The second half of the event, titled “The Breaks” after a Kurtis Blow single, revived elements of Hip Hop’s golden age — graffiti, poetry, freestyle Rap. During the week, the exhibit functioned as a museum but during the weekends, the storefront transformed into a time machine using “the power of the mind and harmonics” to take patrons to the past to observe, interact and learn about events. A former nationally-ranked slam poet and current booking agent, Wright shares a passion for the arts with the members of her team, Siri Imani and Alexis Thompson, who make up two-thirds of local Hip Hop crew Triiibe. Sankofa Experience, experiencesankofa.com.