When Harlem-born poet, writer, and musician Sekou Sundiata was diagnosed with kidney disease in 1995, he traded a hectic touring schedule for a routine of needle sticks and dialysis. For five years, the artist was forced to undergo the time-consuming process of having a machine stand in for his kidneys to purify his blood, until a transplant could be performed. To chronicle this battle with debilitating illness, a recovered Sundiata created “Blessing the Boats.” Named for a collection of poetry penned by fellow renal-failure sufferer Lucille Clifton, the performance incorporates prose, poetry, and monologues to explore the disease that altered his body, his consciousness, and his identity. With humor and poignance, Sundiata provides a look into his journey from sickness to health for those of us whose only brush with organ donation is checking a box on our driver’s-license applications. Sundiata performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. $25. (202) 467-4600. (Sarah Godfrey)