Panama City's Bay Arts Alliance celebrates Kwanzaa

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Panama City, Fla. (WJHG) -- Most people will tell you the holiday season is a time to bring families together but the Bay Arts Alliance held an event that brought much of the community together.

Even though holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah have ended, for those who celebrate Kwanzaa their holiday is just beginning. Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration with different principles which celebrate family, community, and culture from African-American origins.

At the Panama City Center for the Arts, the Bay Arts Alliance used live music, art, and an interactive presentation to teach the community about Kwanzaa.

They celebrated the first day of the holiday, which is known as Umoja. That stands for unity.

"We need more unity in the community and bringing things together in Panama City it's a little devastated here because of the storm," said Bay Arts Alliance member Lubna Sayyidah.

"It was critical right now during Hurricane Michael because we are in the rebuilding process and a lot of times people don't know where to begin," said Bay Arts Alliance board member Sonya Caldwell.

Hurricane Michael impacted many in the community. The Bay Arts Alliance hopes the principles of Kwanzaa can help storm victims.

"We can't do it separately we have to build our community together. If we use the creative process," said Caldwell. "If we use our knowledge and create our businesses and work together collectively we can do that here in Panama City."

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