A Proud New Tradition as 30th Anniversary African World Festival
moves to the grounds of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Friday, August 17 – Sunday, August 19
DETROIT, June 26, 2012 – Detroit’s largest ethnic festival, presented for the 30th year by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, establishes a proud new tradition by being held on the museum grounds, surrounding streets and connecting green spaces. The City of Detroit will close adjacent streets to accommodate one of the most widely anticipated events of the summer. Hours for the free festival are Friday, August 17 through Sunday, August 19, from noon - 11:30 p.m. each day.
The museum building will be open for special and ticketed events. The outdoor festival grounds will feature four outdoor stages, more than 100 marketplace vendors, a crowd-pleasing variety of ethnic foods, visual arts, master crafts exhibitions and live demonstrations. Vendor applications are available on www.AWFDetroit.com. Institutions in the cultural center, including Wayne State University, Midtown Detroit Inc. and the Scarab Club, are cooperating in welcoming the event to the area.
Mayor Dave Bing, members of the Detroit City Council and other dignitaries are being invited to open the festival on Friday at noon, on the festival main stage, behind the museum on Farnsworth Street. On Saturday, the festival’s annual “Parade of Nations” featuring the International Caribbean Festival Parade will kick off from WSU at 11 a.m., moving east on Warren and arriving at noon for the day’s opening.
The Wright Museum is proud to continue its 30-year legacy of hosting the city’s largest celebration of African culture, made possible by the commitment and perseverance of many civic, business and community leaders championing the significance of such an affirming and uplifting celebration. These partners include Councilwoman JoAnn Watson; Heritage Works Director Rhonda Greene; Detroit Wholistic Center CEO Jesse R. Brown; Detroit Black Community Food Security Network; the Caribbean Cultural & Carnival Organization; the United African Community Organization; as well as the Michigan Chronicle; Michigan Citizen; and the official AWF radio partner, Clear Channel, through their stations WMXD Mix 92.3 and FM 98 WJLB.
This 30th anniversary event will celebrate the best of the festival’s past with two exhibitions – an outdoor photo display that creates a timeline and an indoor display of AWF memorabilia and video recordings. The Heritage Works African Folklife Village will present a weekend of traditional crafts demonstrations, African drum and dance performances and audience interactions. Detroit Rocks the Runway features a high-energy showing of fashions by talented designers competing to the theme: “Hip Hop Gets Cultured.” The mastery of Detroit jazz icons Faruq Z. Bey and Alma Smith, and R&B vocalist Belita Woods, will be remembered in tribute jam sessions each night on the Nile River Jazz & Blues stage. The historic Scarab Club will host an evening of local poets, visual artists and performance artists on Sunday. There will also be informational sessions on issues ranging from community economic development to health, and a full range of entertainment and cultural activities for festival goers of all ages.
Again this year, summer school and youth groups are invited to field-trip to the “Watoto Celebration!” – Festival of Fun for our Youth, Friday from noon – 4 p.m. The Watoto (Children’s) Village, in Peck Park at Brush and Frederick Douglass Streets, includes stage performances, games, prizes and “make & take” fun for children and families.