By Claire Lindsey, Journalism Intern
From June 25th-27th, Pittsburgh will welcome the return of FestivalAFRICANA, an event that bridges the gap between Black creators in America and those in other countries. There will be a medley of virtual and in-person events.
This year’s exhibition will promote creatives from Rwanda. The goal is to develop a greater understanding of the country beyond the genocide that took place during the civil war. With so many brilliant artists and designers, this country is far more than its past.
The event is family-friendly and is open to all members of the Pittsburgh community. Through education and entertainment, FestivalAFRICANA aims to inspire.
The celebration also encourages people of all races and ethnicities to appreciate their culture. The festival’s producer, Demeatria Boccella, said that learning about and sharing your roots is a great way to embrace who you are.
Create a community for others to celebrate your culture,” said Boccella. “You can reach people from all over the world.”Demeatria Boccella
The first day will begin with a virtual ceremony that will connect attendees from the United States, Paris, and Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. During this time there will be an introduction of the creators and live performances.
On the evening of the 25th, attendees from the US will be invited to the Grable Visitor Center at Frick Park. The following days of the festival will be carried out virtually, with plenty of moving presentations in store.
The event is a collaboration between FashionAFRICANA and Moonlook, two organizations focused on highlighting African creators. Last year the festival featured talent from Ghana. One woman, Victorine Sarr Awuah, felt that the festival was beneficial for the growth of her business. She founded Lyvv Cosmetics, a company that makes natural, cruelty free beauty products for women of color.
The festival gave us more exposure, especially in France with the African diaspora,” Awuah said.
Each year, the festival will return with another group of creators from a selected African country. Though the exhibitions will change, the goal will remain the same: to inspire young people, especially Black youth, to learn and create.