“We’re proud to assist Topeka’s inaugural For the Culture KS Fest and strongly consider in its mission of increasing the varied cultural choices our space gives,” stated Sean Dixon, president of Visit Topeka.
TOPEKA, Kan. (PRWEB)
May 18, 2023
GO Topeka and Visit Topeka at present introduced their assist for a brand new first-of-its-kind competition celebrating African American tradition and heritage, coming to Kansas’ capital metropolis this summer season. “For the Culture KS Fest” (FTC KS Fest) – which is able to run from July 28-30, 2023, in Topeka, Kansas – will embody not solely musical performances and distributors, however networking and panel periods targeted on skilled and private progress for Black people.
“We wished to create a sustainable artwork and cultural initiative for the state of Kansas that celebrates the optimistic influences in our native communities,” stated co-founder Rodney Harmon, a Topeka resident and Department of Justice Bureau of Prisons retiree, who has since devoted his time to neighborhood volunteering and mentoring. “We’ve by no means seen Black tradition represented on this scale earlier than, and we wished it to be greater than a music competition. This is why we sought to incorporate actions specializing in extra than simply performances, bringing collectively the intersection of artwork, enterprise, well being, and historical past of the African American neighborhood.”
The competition will start with a gap ceremony, held by native leaders from Kansas and overseas, at Topeka’s Evergy Plaza. The three-day occasion will function a number of musical performances from native artists: Kansas-native Justin Aarons, a Top 8 contestant on The Voice; saxophonist JahVelle, who lately carried out on the NFL Draft; Topeka-native rapper Brandon “Bizzy” Evans, and extra. Discussion panels, hosted by a various group of specialists, will vary from enterprise improvement to non-public wellness. Additional actions embody a choir hour with participation from 5 totally different church buildings; a two-hour African American historical past bus tour led by native Topeka historians Sherri Camp and Donna Rae Pearson; an artwork exhibit on the historic Jayhawk Theater; and scholarship giveaways of $1,000 to 3 native highschool college students.
“Our imaginative and prescient for the competition is to create a platform for training, dialogue and alternative by bringing a large number of vacationers to Topeka from throughout the state and overseas,” stated co-founder Mackenzi Mondesir, a Topeka resident that has made it a precedence to include social good all through his profession as a monetary and banking skilled. “We are devoted to offering a welcoming house for everybody throughout the state, and past, to expertise the fun, historical past and id of African American tradition by the humanities.”
Topeka performed an important function within the U.S. civil rights motion. The occasion follows the 69th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling that ended authorized segregation in public faculties in May 1954 – Brown v. Board of Education. The Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Site is positioned inside Topeka’s Monroe Elementary, the segregated faculty concerned within the courtroom case, and options interpretive packages to teach and interact guests on native and nationwide points regarding civil rights. Other landmark websites obtainable to tour embody The Ritchie House and Constitution Hall.
“We’re proud to assist Topeka’s inaugural For the Culture KS Fest and strongly consider in its mission of increasing the varied cultural choices our space gives” stated Sean Dixon, president of Visit Topeka. “From Fiesta Topeka to Pride Kansas to the upcoming Brown v. Board seventieth anniversary commemoration, and different distinctive cultural occasions held right here yearly, the Topeka space continues to be a mannequin for inclusive neighborhood celebrations that draw guests from across the area and throughout the nation. This July goes to be a giant month for Kansas’ capital metropolis, so don’t miss it!”
This competition comes on the heels of a growth in Topeka’s arts and leisure industries. The capital metropolis hosted the first-ever state-wide Pride event within the fall of 2022 and boasts a vibrant and thriving leisure and nightlife scene — together with the art-and-mural-filled NOTO Arts and Entertainment District. Other monumental locations embody the Equality House, one among Topeka’s best-known pillars of Pride and LGBTQ+ rights, and the East sixth enterprise district, which provides 30 Spanish-language eating places, retailers and bars. The metropolis additionally yearly hosts one of many Midwest’s largest Mexican festivals, Fiesta Topeka, scheduled for July 18-22.
“I’ve been in Topeka all my life and have by no means seen a cultural celebration like this within the Midwest earlier than,” stated Alonzo Harrison, proprietor of HDB Construction, the longest-running civil building firm in Kansas, and an FTC KS Fest board member. “I’m very happy with the work this group, together with our neighborhood, is doing to not solely rejoice but in addition educate on African American tradition. It’s been a very long time coming, and we wish to do that proper.”
To be taught extra about FTC KS Fest, go to http://www.forthecultureks.org.
About GO Topeka
GO Topeka creates county-wide financial success for all firms and residents by the implementation of an aggressive financial improvement technique that capitalizes on the distinctive strengths of the neighborhood. GO Topeka operates below the Greater Topeka Partnership and is the main financial improvement company within the area. For extra, go to GoTopeka.com.
About Visit Topeka
As Topeka’s official vacation spot advertising group, Visit Topeka Inc. is devoted to advertising the area as an distinctive vacation spot for conferences, occasions, sports activities, and leisure tourism, thereby enhancing the native economic system. Visit Topeka is a 501(c)6 nonprofit. Learn extra at VisitTopeka.com.
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