The Second Line Parade and Sneaker Ball is an annual benefit for Karamu House, the nation’s oldest African American producing theatre. Today, Karamu’s mission is to produce professional theatre, provide arts education and present community programs for all people while honoring the African American experience. As a non-profit organization, Karamu House depends on the support of its donors and patrons to continue its rich legacy of providing unique, and culturally and socially responsive programming.
This benefit, held in Cleveland’s historic Lake View Cemetery on August 6, 2022, honors the African American tradition of the New Orleans second line parade, a funeral processional and celebration of life— and honors the many notable Clevelanders and Karamu alum now residing in Lake View Cemetery. After the parade, live music fills the air, dancing (in your sneakers and all-white attire) fills the floor, and savory, Creole fare and drinks fill the tables. We wave handkerchiefs to clear the air of negativity, hold parasols to keep our traditions close, and listen to the music that sets us free!