Home Art sale African American Arts Fest in Canton features art, music, food and entertainment

African American Arts Fest in Canton features art, music, food and entertainment


CANTON – Drums were on, burgers sizzled, kids played on an inflatable slide, and vendors sold art, crafts, jewelry, clothing and accessories on Friday at the first festival African-American arts.

But attendees of the two-day free event say the festival, which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday on 10th Street and Cleveland Avenue NW in downtown Canton, is more than fun. , great meals and live music.

It’s about celebrating black culture – and everyone is welcome to join us.

Sue White, of Seasoned With Love, a saleswoman at the African American Arts Festival Friday, prepares food during the event.  Sitting to the right is Patty Williams.  Williams and White are co-owners of the business.

“It’s to expose everyone to our culture so that we have a better understanding and we can all get along,” said Ida Ross-Freeman, a salesperson at Friday’s event.

Ross-Freeman sold clothes that were handmade in Africa, in bright colors and distinct designs.

Ida Ross-Freeman displays handmade African clothing for sale at her booth Friday at the African American Arts Festival in downtown Canton.

Hosted and organized by the EN-RICH-MENT Academy of Fine Arts in Canton, the event features black artists, musicians and poets.

Sharlene Gourick, an EN-RICH-MENT volunteer, said there is a deeper message that accompanies the festivities.

“Now is the time to do it,” she said of the inaugural event. “Because of everything that’s going on around us – voting rights and police brutality. It’s to let people know that people of color are people too and that we have feelings too.”

Moniquec Conner, from Canton, shops in Creati"V"ly Handmade, a business operated by Veronica Callahan.  Callahan and other vendors settled in at the Canton African-American Festival on Friday, which continues on Saturday.

Friday’s program featured musician Rosalyn Pratt and Josh and Maria Cribbs, from the TV show “Cribbs in the CLE: Josh and Maria Live”. Josh Cribbs is a former Cleveland Browns player.

Mayor Thomas Bernabei officially opens the African American Arts Festival on Friday in downtown Canton.  Ward 2 Councilor Brenda Kimbrough joins Bernabei on stage.

Food included burgers, sausage, sweet potato pie, pound cake, barbecued ribs, homemade popsicles, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and a peach cobbler.

Red Hands, which includes members from Canton, Akron and Youngstown, will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

A health, well-being and fitness session is at 10 a.m. Saturday with Zumba and yoga.

Briley Hogan, 5, of Perry Township, examines a freezer containing homemade frozen treats at the African American Festival of the Arts Friday at Cleveland Avenue NW and 10th Street in downtown Canton.  The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.

Other Saturday activities include a youth hour with hip hop at 2 pm; a tribute to black musical theater at 3 p.m. DJPAPO African Dance Co. at 4 p.m .; and a tambourine and gospel hour competition at 7 p.m.

The Early Childhood Resource Center, the YWCA, the Stark County NAACP, the Stark County Black Nurses Association and the Tyler Scott Lancaster Foundation, which raises awareness about diabetes, are also represented at the festival.

Robert Williams cooks sausage and burgers on Friday at the Seasoned With Love food stall during the African American Arts Festival in Canton.  The event continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and features art, music, children's activities and a health fair.

Elec Simon will host a drum circle at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

A health fair runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. COVID vaccines will be available.

The works of art are on display on a booth Friday at the African American Art Festival in downtown Canton.  The event continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at Cleveland Avenue and 10th Street NW.

Contact Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]

On Twitter @ebalintREP


WHAT African American Arts Festival

OR 10th Street and Cleveland Avenue NW in downtown Canton

WHEN 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday

ACTIVITIES artwork, live music, other entertainment, dancing, food and health fair from 10 a.m. to noon, including COVID vaccinations



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