Tuesday, June 25, 2024

“Madafo” Lloyd Wilson to be honored with proclamation, youth arts festival

DREAMS will host the Madafo Day youth arts festival on April 13. (Port City Daily/file photo)

WILMINGTON – The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County in partnership with the Dreams Center for Arts Education will honor the life of the late master storyteller and musician “Madafo” Lloyd Wilson with Madafo Day.

Madafo Day is a youth-focused art festival at DREAMS from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, 2024, which would have been Wilson’s 77th birthday. The musician died on Sept. 14, 2023.

The theme of the event is “March to the Beat of Your Own Drum,” which recognizes Wilson’s talents as a percussionist and voice performer. Throughout his life, he mentored countless young people at the Community Arts Center, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and New Hanover High School, which is why the arts council chose to celebrate his memory with a youth arts event. 

The free event will include several craft stations for children, supported by DREAMS teaching artists Marcus Dawson and Bri Mellott, percussionist Perry Smith and the Northside Food Cooperative. There will also be performances from several artists, including: 

  • The Dance Theater of DREAMS
  • Drummer Mike Hanson
  • Storytellers June Bug, Joyce Grear and Maxwell Paige
  • Guitarist Roger Davis
  • Vocalists Nina Repeta, Delores Brown and Laura McLean
  • Keyboardist Rev. Stephen Bradley
  • Saxophonist and flutist Dave Schartman

At the event, the City of Wilmington will announce a proclamation that marks April 13 as Madafo Day.

Wilson, who was born on April 13, 1947, grew up in Taylor Homes on Wilmington’s Northside, graduated from Williston Senior High School in 1965 and was honorably discharged after serving four years in the U.S. Army.  He was passionate about preserving African culture through storytelling and music; he compiled a catalog of hundreds of traditional African and African-American folk tales and produced, hosted and co-starred in “A Season’s Griot,” the first and only nationally syndicated radio program for Kwanzaa, airing first on Wilmington’s public radio station WHQR and then airing on stations nationwide. WHQR is one of the sponsors of the event. 

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