Angélique Kidjo at Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center and Tuck School of Business
April 28 and 29
Grammy-winner and internationally celebrated performer Angélique Kidjo comes to the Hopkins Center in concert on Friday, April 29, at 7:30 pm in Spaulding Auditorium. The Beninese pop star and activist will also discuss her non-profit initiatives for girls' empowerment in Africa in a public talk co-hosted by Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the Hop.
Kidjo successfully inhabits multiple roles in her music and social justice careers, one of which is, of course, as a musical performer. Preceding her Hop visit on Friday, Kidjo will be in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, singing in conjunction with the reopening of Met galleries of African and other art. Following her Hop appearance, she moves on to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for a world premier of Yemandja, a theater production she has authored based on her own family experiences. (Kennedy Center website.)
This is not Angélique Kidjo’s first visit to the Hopkins Center. I covered one of her earlier concerts, and while it was delightful in all of the ways you hope concerts will be, my indelible impression is that of Kidjo, descending the stage and making her way up the aisles of Spaulding Auditorum. She succeeded in getting a few people to dance along with her, and then a few more, and in record time, every single person in the audience was on their feet. And not doing that tepid sway type of dancing, but rather, the all-in, dance-like-no-one-is-watching kind. You have to be there, surrounded by the sound and sight, to comprehend the power of her music, and of Kidjo herself. (Tickets for the upcoming April 29 concert can be purchased here.)
In addition to her roles as performer and author, Kidjo is a force for good throughout the world and has achieved international recognition. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, and the 2018 German Sustainability Award.
The singer and social entrepreneur also travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and OXFAM goodwill Ambassador. At the G7 Summit in 2019, President Macron of France named Kidjo as the spokesperson for the AFAWA initiative (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) to help close the financing gap for women entrepreneurs in Africa. She has also created her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa.
Tuck Dean Dia Draper will host Angélique Kidjo at a “fireside chat” entitled “Music and Empowerment,” followed by a reception highlighting entrepreneurship, diversity and leadership in partnership with Tuck's Women in Business club and the Tuck Africa Club. This event on April 28 at 5:00 p.m is open to the public, free but with tickets required. (More information is available here.)
(Photos, top and center, Angélique Kidjo, by Fabrice Mabillot, courtesy of the Hopkins Center)
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And in case you are wondering . . . Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.