curate your kwanzaa experience!

Celebrate culture, community and creative expression at NJPAC’s annual Kwanzaa Family Festival and Marketplace! Join the hundreds of families who make the free Kwanzaa Family Festival part of their annual celebration. It’s a full day of uplifting programs based on the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Choose from among dozens of activities and find the ones that ignite your spirit.

The Family Festival coincides with the popular Kwanzaa Marketplace taking place over two floors of the Arts Center from 9AM – 9PM. Shop one-of-a-kind items from local crafters and artisans such as custom and cultural clothing, handcrafted jewelry and accessories, bath and body products, crystals, artwork, books and more. NJPAC’s Community Engagement makes Kwanzaa magical … and memorable.

Check out our selection of free activities and live performances below.

Date: Dec 23, 2023 | Time: 9AM-9PM | Location: njpac


From 9AM – 2PM enjoy holiday-infused activities including dance classes, arts and crafts, storytelling, face painting and a candle lighting ceremony. Free live performances take place in the Prudential Hall Lobby every hour from 10AM – 9PM including energetic choreography — with audience participation! —  by Umoja Dance Company and Zawadi African Dance & Drum, Inc.

UMOJA (Unity)

Umoja’s is centered around achieving and maintaining unity in the family, community, nation and race. The activities associated with this principle celebrate coming together and moving in unity to the uplifting rhythms of drum beats and dance forms influenced by deep-rooted African culture and traditions.

10:00 AM 10:45 AM Movement Class
11:00 AM 11:45 AM Movement Class
12:00 PM 12:45 PM Movement Class

10:00 AM 10:45 AM Rhythm Class
11:00 AM 11:45 AM Rhythm Class
12:00 PM 12:45 PM Rhythm Class

KUJICHAGULIA (Self Determination)

The principle of Kujichagulia centers on defining, naming, creating and speaking for ourselves. Express your self-determination through creativity and Kwanzaa-related arts and crafts projects.

10:00 AM 12:45 PM Arts & Crafts

Ujamaa (cooperative economics)

Ujamaa is about collectively benefitting from businesses by building and maintaining our own stores and shops. Support local Black-owned merchants with an expanded Artisan Marketplace. Dozens of vendors cover two floors of NJPAC selling one-of-a-kind handcrafts, jewelry, soaps, lotions, clothes, art and much more for your gift-giving needs. At the same time, support local musicians, dancers, and artists who will share live performances in the Prudential Lobby.

9:00 AM 9:15 AM Kwanzaa Opening & Welcome
10:00 AM 10:15 AM Performance 1
10:15 AM 10:30 AM Performance 2
11:00 AM 11:15 AM Performance 3
11:15 AM 11:30 AM Performance 4
12:00 PM 12:15 PM Performance 5
12:15 PM 12:30 PM Performance 6
1:00 PM 1:15 PM Performance 7
1:15 PM 1:30 PM Performance 8
3:00 PM 3:15 PM Performance 9
3:15 PM 3:30 PM Performance 10
4:00 PM 4:15 PM Performance 11
4:15 PM 4:30 PM Performance 12
5:00 PM 5:15 PM Performance 13
5:15 PM 5:30 PM Performance 14
6:00 PM 6:15 PM Performance 15
6:15 PM 6:30 PM Performance 16
7:00 PM 7:15 PM Performance 17
7:15 PM 7:30 PM Performance 18
8:00 PM 8:15 PM Performance 19
8:15 PM 8:30 PM Performance 20

9:00 AM 9:00 PM Artisan Marketplace

KUUMBA (Creativity)

Kuumba encourages us to always do what we can to improve and leave our community more beautiful than we inherited it. With this principle in mind, participate in activities that beautify the body and benefit the soul.

9:30 AM 12:45 PM Face Painting
9:30 AM 12:45 PM Kwanzaa Story & Creative Activity
9:30 AM 12:45 PM Storytelling

IMANI (Faith)

Imani asks us to believe, with all of our hearts, in our people, parents, teachers and leaders and in the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

11:00 AM 12:45 PM Arts & Crafts

UJIMA (Collective Work & Responsibility)

Ujima is centered on actively building and maintaining our community. Individual problems become our collective responsibility and we work together to overcome them. Break through your creative challenges with help from our engaged partners who will facilitate art projects and nurture your creative expression.

9:30 AM 10:30 AM Arts & Crafts
10:00 AM 12:45 PM Arts & Crafts
10:00 AM 12:45 PM Arts & Crafts

NIA (Purpose)

Nia is about making our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore African people to their traditional greatness.

10:15 AM 10:45 AM workshop
11:00 AM 12:00 PM workshop
12:15 PM 12:45 PM workshop

See a show while you’re here!

The Kwanzaa Family Festival and Marketplace is presented in collaboration with 30 partners:

+ Afro Brazilian Arts and Education Academy; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Africana Institute; Bashful LLC; A Center for Coping with Loss; LaRocque Bey School of Dance; New Jersey Department of Children and Families, The Department of Child Protection and Permanency; and Weequahic Park Sports Authority.

Sponsored by:

NJPAC’s Kwanzaa Family Festival and Marketplace are made possible through the generosity of Leon and Toby Cooperman.