July 8, 2012

After last year’s cancellation, Wichita Black Arts Festival returns

The Black Arts Festival will return this year, organizers say.

The Black Arts Festival will return this year, organizers say.

Last year’s festival didn’t happen due to lack of funding.

In the past, board members would pay for extra costs out-of-pocket, said Dana McPherson, president of the Wichita Black Arts Festival Association. But the additional costs were too high last year, and the festival had to be canceled.

“Yes, it was disappointing, because we didn’t have our biggest event,” said Carl Stovall, fundraising chair and former president of the association. “But after we discussed it, (it was) better to not throw something together, better to table it.”

McPherson said the board has learned from the past and will continue learning how to get community support for this type of event.

This year’s festival will rely mostly on fundraising, as well as private and corporate donations, McPherson said. The organization has applied for grants as well, but isn’t relying solely on them, she said.

The festival is scheduled for Sept. 1-3 in McAdams Park, near 13th Street and Ohio. It will feature a dance workshop with Darrin Henson, a car and bike show, live music and a parade.

The Umoja 5K Walk/Run is still on as well. It is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, and will cost $12 to $25, depending on the runner’s age and when they register.

“Arts – visual and musical – speak a universal language,” Stovall said. “The festival is a great opportunity for the city of Wichita to come together.”

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