KOLA: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker

The Production Re-Envisions The Nutcracker Through African & AfroLatinX Lens, Reflecting the Lives of Black and Brown Children in Modern-Day Oakland.


In December 2019, local Oakland non-profit The People’s Conservatory (TPC), in collaboration with renowned local artists such as Grammy Nominated Hip Hop and Soul artist Mystic, SFJAZZ Collective member Martin Luther, and the OSA Concert Choir premiered Kola: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker. Kola had an eight-show run, with a sold-out final show, from December 12th - 15th; 19th - 22nd at Castlemont High School in Oakland.

This all Oakland professional production is a re-envisioned version of The Nutcracker through the lens of African and Afro-Latinx music, dance, theater, and culture reflecting the lives of Black and Brown children socially, politically, and spiritually in modern-day Oakland.


500+ students from over a dozen Oakland and other East Bay schools were involved as performers, composers and costume/set designers, including OSA, Anna Yates, Northern Light, Pear Tree Community School, West Oakland Middle School, Envision Academy Middle Grades, Park Day, Head Royce, and Latitude High School. 


The Kola creative team, comprised of TPC founder Rozz Nash and beloved local artists Kev Choice, Jennifer Johns, and RyanNicole, rewrote this narrative and offer new music compositions representing Jazz, Gospel, Afro-Caribbean, Hip Hop, R&B, and re-mixed Tchaikovsky. 

The 2019 show was dedicated to Kamaiu Sol Presented with support of Oakland Cultural Affairs, The Barrios Trust & Shawn Ginwright.

"Kola is the story of the rights of passage for a young girl…It is a pleasure to revise & make relevant this traditional show with the pantheon of greats that represent the Bay Area youth arts scene." 

- RyanNicole

Last year, many got to experience Kola: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker!!!

There was a unique exchange of energy each night during Kola that filled our hearts with culture, joy, creativity, and unity! 

Now you can share Oakland's newest theatrical treasure with your family and friends across the globe. 

Download Your Copy of KOLA TODAY!!!

2019  KOLA Cast, Crew & Credits



Now Open for Viewing @ 15th & Broadway, Oakland

A curated, self-guided multi-media art exhibition located in downtown Oakland highlighting the artwork of more than 20 local Black artists and Black-led arts, cultural organizations, and businesses. The centerpiece of the art walk features the 9-foot, bronze sculpture, Rumors of War, by renowned African American artist Kehinde Wiley, most recently known for his 2018 painted portrait of President Barack Obama at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.


 @thepeoplesconservatory  @houseofmamasan  @issajourney_j  @the8thsun have been working for months on this special project with @blackjoyparade and @oakcentral to unveil the amazing costume and set designs of KOLA—An Afro Diasporic Remix of the Nutcracker. 

KOLA Media & Press

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Post News Group

Published December 19, 2019

KOLA: An Afro Diasporic Remix of the Nutcracker

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San Francisco Classical Voice

Published December 16, 2019

The People’s Conservatory Debuts KOLA

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Published December 10, 2019

Oakland Dancers Present 'The Nutcracker' With an African Diaspora Twist


The Oaklandside

Published July 16, 2021

In downtown Oakland, 30+ storefronts display art celebrating Black Joy

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102.9FM KBLX

Published December 16, 2019

KOLA! An Afro Diasporic Remix Of The Nutcracker