In its 7th year Supernova will feature 40 international Ska bands during a three-day weekend hosting more than 20,000 fans

Monday, March 13, 2023

Designed graphic promoting the Supernova International Ska Festival 2023, with photos of several ska artists and groups.

Washington, D.C. — Americans for the Arts joins the 2023 Supernova International Ska Festival as their official Impact Partner. The fitting union affirms Americans for the Arts’ mission of advancing the diverse networks of organizations and individuals who cultivate the arts in the United States. Thriving at the intersection of music and community, Supernova Ska Festival will take place at historic Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, on September 15-17, 2023. Tickets are on sale at SupernovaSka.

The fast-selling event will feature an impressive global ensemble of 40 performers and bands, including Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra (Japan), Fishbone (Los Angeles), Don Letts DJ Set (UK), Cherry Poppin' Daddies (USA), Hollie Cook (UK), The Dualers (UK), The Skapones (UK), The Aggrolites (Los Angeles), Adhesivo (El Salvador), Out of Control Army (Mexico), Dr Ring Ding (Germany), The Pietasters (Washington, D.C.), Chris Murray (Canada), The Planet Smashers (Canada), Pannonia AllStars Ska Orchestra (Hungary), Stranger Cole (Jamaica), and Sister Nancy (Jamaica), MC Ian Fidance, The Untouchables (Los Angeles), Stranger Cole (Jamaica), among many others.

“I often say community is where the arts make the most difference,” said Americans for the Arts President and CEO Nolen V. Bivens. “Supernova exemplifies the true social, cultural, educational, and economic powers of the arts in its full splendor, and the impact it can have in communities. The richness and diversity of ska music also demonstrates how art can unify not only communities across our nation, but across the globe. It is an honor for Americans for the Arts to join this diverse celebration.” 

A percentage of the event’s profits will go to Americans for the Arts, which each year will select a local art agency to receive the percentage of proceeds raised by Supernova. This year Art Central Gallery, the only Black-owned art gallery in the Phoebus Art District, in Hampton, Virginia. Owner Everna Lee Taylor, a Vietnam veteran known as the “Pictorial Storyteller,” will receive the funds. In addition to Taylor’s one-of-a-kind artwork, Art Central also features eight other local artists who sell their art through his establishment. Taylor also holds Art Talks at 6pm on Mondays at his gallery where members of the community are encouraged to gather and learn more about art and the gallery’s artists. The Art Talks are co-hosted by gallery’s displaying artists and are free of charge.

As a testament to the findings of Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economics Prosperity® studies on the arts and culture sector’s economic impact across the United States, the event will also demonstrate the economic power the arts wield in a community by bringing nearly 20,000 fans from all over the world to the vibrant and picturesque location. Attendees estimated local economic impact is expected to exceed $2 million dollars.   

Fort Monroe is located on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, where wildlife neighbors include dolphins, crabs, pelicans, and sea turtles. Starting in 2018, Supernova stopped using single use plastics at the festival, including cups and straws, and transitioned to 100% recycled aluminum cans. In 2023, fans will be given a branded water bottle and provided with free filtered water all weekend. This cuts down on thousands of pounds of plastic waste each festival and helps protect Earth’s fragile ecosystem. Supernova's commitment to cultural and social impact also includes supporting arts education by awarding scholarships to students in underserved communities, this year’s recipient was Leon Channer, first year student at Alpha School of Music, in Kingston, Jamaica

“We’re thrilled to welcome American for the Arts as our Impact Sponsor. As stewards of the arts and community, this was a natural fit. Their commitment to advocacy for the arts and driving positive social change across our nation cannot be overstated. We look forward to a lasting and impactful partnership,” stated Supernova Managing Director Tim Receveur

Throughout the length of the event, which will also offer 30 hours of live-streamed ska music for thousands of fans all around the world, Americans for the Arts and Supernova will be sharing awareness messages about the impact the arts have locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Supernova is the largest festival dedicated to ska music in the United States and prides itself on mixing legendary artists with ska bands from all eras. Foundation ska musicians like Derrick Morgan, The Skatalites, and Doreen Shaffer have shared the stage with bands like Hepcat, The Aggrolites, The Pietasters, and The Skints over the years.   

For more information, please follow along through our social media platforms at @Americans4Arts.

Mariaesmeralda Paguaga
[email protected]