As plans move forward for creating a new Central Area Arts District to celebrate the area as a hub for black art, business, and community, one of the groups looking to help preserve and grow the area’s economic and cultural assets will hold the first edition of what it hopes will become an annual event.
The first Africatown Central District Winter Arts and Soul Fest is underway:
Friday, Nov. 27th
Black Friday Concert & Marketplace featuring Owuor Arunga & Friends. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S. Market Place opens at 12 noon. Doors for concert open at 6:30pm.
Saturday, Nov. 28th –
Africatown Small Business Saturday Marketplace at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S.
Opening of Black Dot Cultural Innovation Space @ Midtown Center, 1160 23rd Ave
4th Annual Dancehall Reunion Bash @ Eritrean Hall, 1954 S. Massachusetts St.
What: Africatown-Central District Winter Music & Arts Fest
When: Wed Nov. 25 – Sat. Nov. 28, 2015
Where: Multiple Venues in Africatown-Central District
Black Dot Cultural Innovation Space, 1160 23rd Ave.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave S.
Red Lounge, 1212 E. Jefferson St.
Lake Chad Cafe, 1712 S. Jackson St.
Included in the celebration will be the launch the Black Dot Cultural Innovation Space at Midtown Center, described as “a new business incubator” at 23rd and Union.
Here’s the full announcement from the inaugural event:
On the heels of Mayor Ed Murray announcing the Central District as the next Cultural Arts District in Seattle, the first Annual Africatown-Central District Winter Arts & Soul Fest kicks off today with Mighty Crown & Fire Links from Japan and Jamaica performing live at the Red Lounge.
The four days of festivities will highlight the neighborhood’s unique African American heritage and African diaspora flavors including a special Black Friday Benefit Concert with Owuor Arunga & Friends at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute; the launch of a new business incubator, the Black Dot Cultural Innovation Space at Midtown Center; and a Black Friday & Small Business Saturday Holiday Marketplace.
An all star cast of Seattle talent, including Josephine Howell, fresh back from performing at American Music Awards with Macklemore will join Owuor Arunga (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Physics) for the concert. Other featured artists are Black Stax, Otieno Terry, Adra Boo, Dadabass, Yirim Seck, Marissa Garrett, and Olu Damar. Proceeds will benefit youth arts and leadership development programming of Umoja PEACE Center and Africatown.
Partnership and promotional support for the event comes from AfricatownSeattle.com, Umoja PEACE Center, Arunga Music, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, OutsideThinc Agency, Hack The CD, Black Dot, The Taste of The Caribbean, Lake Chad Cafe, Third Level Events, Seattle Office of Economic Development and American Express #ShopSmall.
Meanwhile, Seattle’s Office of Economic Development is looking for developers to create another “cultural innovation hub” in the old Fire Station 6 at 23rd and Yesler. “The hub would be called the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation, named after a African-American businessman who settled in Seattle in 1861 and purchased land in the area from Henry Yesler,” the Daily Journal of Commerce reports.