The 2nd Annual Black Culture Festival kicks off this Friday, July 30 at Plot 5. Founded by Alia Evans and Will Powers, the Black Culture Festival aims to “celebrate the victories and culture of black people in America,” the founders.
The free festival aims to both highlight current and past achievements and, in doing so, educate attendees about what black culture is all about.
After attending festivals celebrating the culture and success of other African diaspora groups, Powers said, “A lot of the idea came from attending other festivals and not being able to fully relating to other festivals, not being able to relate even to the African festival, knowing that’s where our heritage lies, (yet) still not being from there or going there.”
“I know what we’ve done here,” he said.
Continued:Yoga class at plot 5
In addition to a showcase of young talent and a cheerleader dance battle, the event will celebrate and promote black businesses.
“Part of the festival is to bring black businesses together and create a space where they can network and grow their capital, as well as bring some exposure to their businesses,” said co-founder Evans.
So far, she says, the response to the festival has been tremendous. People from outside the Rochester area even said they were heading into town for the two-day event.
“People reacted (to the cheerleader dance battle) from Buffalo and Syracuse,” she said. “Majorette is also big in Buffalo. They responded and said they were going to take a trip here.
Over the two-day festival, Evans said attendees can expect to enjoy the sounds of jazz bands, including the Nate Rawls Band with vocalist Dilynda Cassoni, which performs at 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and other live musicians. Children can play on bouncy castles. They will also have a plethora of food trucks, including Big Daddy’s BBQ Catering, Morgan’s Cereal, and ice cream trucks. The Young Talent Showcase takes place on Friday, July 30 at 6 p.m., while the Majorette Dance Battle is on Saturday. DJs will also be present, in addition to health information vendors.
The event is free, but Powers says it’s important that people support the companies that will be attending.
“The only thing they would have to pay is the food vendors or their shopping experience with the merchandise vendors,” he said. “So you could have fun for as little as zero dollars and if you wanted to shop and support black businesses, bring as much cash as you want or as much cash as you feel comfortable bringing. to bring.”
Powers and Evans, who both describe themselves as community advocates and activists, said the festival is an important way to bring the community together.
“We did a lot of work in the community, and we just wanted to bring something to the community that was going to be really fun, family-friendly, and we understand as activists and advocates that it takes a village,” Powers mentioned.
If you are going to
The Black Culture Festival is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 30. The following day, the festivities resume at noon and continue until 10 p.m.
The festival will take place at Parcel 5, which is across from the Liberty Pole. Free street parking is available throughout downtown on Fridays.
On Saturday, there will be parking at the Mortimer Garage on South Clinton Avenue and Washington Square Garden on Woodbury Boulevard.
Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Adria R. Walker covers public education for the Democrat and Chronicle in partnership with Report for America. Follow her on Twitter at @adriawalkr or send him an email at [email protected]. You can support his work with a tax-deductible donation to Report for America.