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Free Outdoor Concert in Yerba Buena Gardens

Free Outdoor Concert
When:  Saturday, August 2, 1:00pm 
Where: Yerba Buena Gardens (Mission Street between 3rd & 4th St.)
Admission: Free and open to the public (Picnics welcome. No pets please.)
Featuring: Anthony Brown, baritone; accompanied by Dr. Carl Blake, pianist; guest artist Candace Johnson, soprano


In collaboration with Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, AfroSolo Arts Festival presents its fourteenth free concert in Yerba Buena Gardens. Bring a lunch, a blanket and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of music. This year’s concert features Anthony Brown in A Tribute to Paul Robeson, with a focus on Negro Spirituals. He will be accompanied by Dr. Carl Blake.  Joining them will be outstanding Candace Johnson, soprano.
A Tribute to Paul Robeson
Mr. Robeson was a Civil Rights Activist, actor, a stellar athlete, singer and lawyer.
Born on April 9, 1898, in Princeton, New Jersey, Robeson went on to become internationally renowned for his political activism.
Mr. Robeson starred in both stage and film versions of The Emperor Jones and Show Boat, and established an immensely popular screen and singing career. He spoke out against racism and became a world activist, yet was blacklisted during the paranoia of McCarthyism in the 1950s. He died in Pennsylvania in 1976. He remained until his death an advocate of the political stances he took. For more info visit: 
Paul Robeson

Anthony Brown

Anthony Brown |
Anthony Brown is a critically acclaimed baritone. Besides the standard classical repertoire, he has made a specialty of performing music of the American experience, especially Negro Spirituals. He has lectured widely on the role and function of the Negro Spirituals. “This music, (he notes) graphically captures the deep despair of the soul and offers hope for deliverance from oppression and suffering… People from all over the world connect with this universal theme. The spiritual is truly a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.”

Carl Blake

Dr. Carl Blake
Dr. Blake will accompany Brown on piano. Dr. Blake is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist. He holds three degrees in piano performance: the Bachelor of Music (magna cum laude) from Boston University, the Master of Arts from San Jose State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from Cornell University. He was the first recipient of the Marian Anderson Young Artist Award (presented by Ms. Anderson herself), that led to a year of private study with Pierre Sancan of the Paris Conservatory of Music.  Blake is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholar Awards to teach and perform in Honduras.  He has performed three times at Carnegie Hall in New York City, once in Wigmore Hall in London, and has travelled as an Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.

Candace Johnson

Dr. Candace Johnson –
Dr. Johnson is an inspirational soprano who captivates audiences with her dynamic vocal artistry and her moving dramatic interpretation.  Candace is on the music faculty at the University of California-Berkeley, where she teaches applied voice and a musicology course she designed on Black classical composers and their works. She earned her doctorate in voice performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Shirley Verrett and George Shirley.  Prior to her current appointment, she was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the music department. As a teaching artist, Candace performs opera, recital, and concert works, and specializes in the research and performance of classical works by Black American composers.

Thank You To Our Donors

We are just a few weeks away from kicking off our Arts Festival this year!  But without the support from our donors, the AfroSolo Arts Festival would not be possible.  We are very thankful for everything our wonderful donors contribute to our organization.  Below is a list of some of our donors over the twenty tears!

  • Bank of America Foundation
  • California Humanities Council
  • Columbia Foundation
  • Fleishacker
  • Gap Foundation
  • Gerbode Foundation
  • Horizons Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • LEF Foundation
  • Puffin Foundation LTD
  • Rainbow Grocery Cooperative
  • San Francisco Arts Commission
  • San Francisco Grants for the Arts/Hotel Tax Fund
  • St. Mary Medical Center
  • Sutter Health-CPMC
  • W. A. Gerbode Foundation
  • Walter and Elise Haas Fund
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Western States Arts Federation
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Yerba Buena Arts and Events
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Community Partners Program
  • Zellerbach Family Foundation

Join us for the AfroSolo Arts Festival!

Vertical with title We can hardly wait for the start of our annual AfroSolo Arts Festival.  The AfroSolo team has been working hard to put on a great community event for August!  Most of the event are open and free to the community, so be sure to bring your friends and family.  Here’s the line up:

ACT 1 

Tribute to Paul Robeson

  • August 2nd at 1-3PM at Yerba Buena Gardens – Mission St. (between 3rd and 4th St.), San Francisco, CA 94103
  • Tribute to Paul Robeson by Anthony Brown and pianist Dr. Carl Blake

ACT 2 

Community Health Fair 10-1PM


Project Empowerment – Succeeding Against the Odds

  • Workshops to serve and support young Black men and boys from entering the juvenile system

          September 27th: Scene 1 – The Audacity to Succeed – Young Black Men and Boys Soaring into the Future

  • Workshops and panels for job, internship, and apprentice opportunities
  • Inspirational and upbeat day to plan for a great future

September 27th: Scene 2 – Great Performances by Young Black Men and Boys

  • Theater, music, and dance

          Scene 3 – Lighting up the Future: Letters From Black Men to Young Black Men and Boys

  • An anthology of letters written from Black men to younger Black men and boys with the goal to uplift, inspire and motivate  them.
  • We plan to publish the book in the winter of 2014



Black Voices Series

  • Performances by 4 extraordinary performers that give voice to the black experience


Workshops for Developing Your Arts Organization

  • Solo performance workshop
  • Learn how to market yourself and expand your performing arts career

*Please note events are subject to change

Health Fair — One month away!

We’re so excited for our Health Fair on August 9th which is just one month away!  It will be located at the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center (1050 McAllister St. San Francisco, CA 94115) from 10-1pm. We believe that a healthy community is a happy community, so join us for this free event.  Along with health information, we are happy to announce blood pressure tests, sugar level tests, vision testing, and much more!  We are looking forward to educating our community about health issues that affect all of us.  The following are just a few of our community partners that will be present at the fair:

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • San Francisco Vegetarian Society
  • Maxine Hall Health Center
  • University of San Francisco Health Center
  • Office of Citizen Company
  • University of San Francisco EMR
  • Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center
  • Rainbow Grocery
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center
  • AfroSolo Theatre Company