Columbus’ third annual African-American Cultural Festival on Friday, Aug. 23, and Saturday, Aug. 24, will offer central Ohioans an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of African American community members, according to organizers.

“It’s an opportunity to for folks to come together in a high-energy environment,” said Carla Williams-Scott, director of the Columbus Department of Neighborhoods.

The festival will take place at a new location this year, Mayme Moore Park, 240 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Columbus. It will run from 4 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 and 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Aug. 24. Admission is free.

Williams-Scott said said the festival has been moved to a new location and new dates this year to allow for expansion from one to two days.

She said the change in dates from June to August will allow more focus on the festival because many large events in Columbus, such as the Jazz & Rib Fest, are earlier in the summer.

Williams-Scott said the Columbus neighborhood where the event is being held, King-Lincoln Bronzeville, is historically African American. She said the area was a cultural hub, especially in the 1950s and 1960s.

She said the location allows for a celebration of institutions that have been key to African American culture in Columbus, such as the Lincoln Theatre, a performing-arts and education center that opened in 1928, at 769 E. Long St., and the Columbus Urban League, a nonprofit organization founded in 1918 at 788 Mount Vernon Ave. that promotes equal access to resources.

Williams-Scott said those who attend will be able to tour the neighborhood at 6 p.m. Aug. 23.

The festival also presents an opportunity for leaders and artists to demonstrate their skills at the Cultural Corner exhibit.

Curator Yohannan Terrell said the Cultural Corner will have a mix of poetry, arts, fashion and conversation-based performances.

“It’s an experience that really highlights the movement we have going on here in Columbus,” he said.

Terrell said Columbus-based artist Marshall Shorts would present the BRUSH experience at the Cultural Corner. BRUSH is an interactive mural on which patrons may collaborate with him in a paint-by-numbers style.

Williams-Scott said the festival also would include workshops and information about everything from hip-hop dancing to urban gardening, as well as musical acts performing on a main stage both days.

She said to check the event website, columbus.gov/aacf, for road closures and specific parking lots that will be used.

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