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Studio Park hosting African American arts and music festival

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Outside Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids (Courtesy photo/The Tribune)

By Abigail Mulonas

The 2021 African American Arts and Music Festival (GRAAMF) featuring live music and food is slated for Saturday, Sept. 25 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Grand Rapids.   

The free event will be held outdoors at the piazza at Celebration Cinema Studio Park, 123 Ionia Ave. SW and will feature visual talent and musical performances celebrating the African American arts community. 

With live music on tap, the artist lineup includes Bunny Debarge, Isaac Norris, Asumu Johnson, New City Kids, Entyce, and many more. These talents will be playing music in the Jazz, Blues, Hip Hop, and R&B genres. If attending, GRAAMF organizers recommend bringing blankets, coats, and chairs to enjoy the outdoor performances comfortably.  

 The festival started in 2018, and this now annual festival was created to highlight the diversity this city has to offer. GRAAMF’s Facebook page states that the festival aims to  “… serve the wider community with non-traditional art in a traditional setting.” According to Chair of the Board, Lisa Knight, this is the place for all ages and races to join others who love diversity, appreciate the community, and want to have fun.  

While showcasing the different contributions from African Americans from all parts of the city, there will be opportunities for food and dance, on top of art and music. Additionally, festival vendors will be selling goods including candles, essential oils, t-shirts, and jewelry.  

 Another African American-led company, Adwater Marketing, is joining the team to contribute in making this festival unique. Launching a national campaign this year that develops custom content (ad campaigns, brand endorsements, automotive industry products).

Although masks are not required, GRAAMF organizers are asking attendees to be respectful, kind, and courteous to everyone involved within the festival and do their part to stay safe by social distancing and remember wearing face masks regardless of vaccination status. For more information, visit 2021 Grand Rapids African American Arts & Music Festival Facebook or event page.

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