January 27, 2003

VSU to sponsor Black Arts Festival

Valdosta State University will sponsor its first Black Arts Festival beginning Jan. 30 and concluding on Feb. 22.

"The Black Arts Festival has a dual purpose. It is an opportunity to crystallize the tremendous contributions and influences on American culture as a whole, to focus on and discuss challenges and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans," Maggie Viverette, acting assistant to the president for Equal Opportunity Programs and Multicultural Affairs, said. "The second purpose is to create an opportunity for growth through education for individuals of African-American descent, as well as individuals from other cultures who wish to learn more."

Viverette added that she hopes the Black Arts Festival will create a positive atmosphere in which individuals will feel supported in developing opportunities for cross-cultural dialogues.

The following programs and events are scheduled as part of the festival:

? Jan. 30, at 7 p.m., in the University Center Magnolia Room, "Black Arts Festival Banquet" with guest speaker Judge John H. Ruffin Jr., Georgia Court of Appeals. He will speak on the topic "African-American Success in Every Endeavor." Cost: $10 per person. Tickets are available through the office of Equal Opportunity Programs and Multicultural Affairs at 333-5463.
? Feb. 2, from 5-7 p.m., University Center Magnolia, "Celebration of Voices" featuring the Fort Valley State University Concert Choir and local churches.
? Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m., in the Georgia Ave. Reception Home, an opening reception for "Collector's Corner" art exhibit. The exhibit will be on display Feb. 11-13, from 3-8 p.m. The exhibit will feature the work of local artists Jean Little, Vanessa Loud and Adann Alexander.
? Feb. 17, 7 p.m., University Center Magnolia Room, "African-American Images in the Media" a panel discussion. Serving as panelists are Katrina Parker, Valdosta Daily Times; Margorie Menzel, communications director for the Advocacy Center for People with Disabilities in Tallahassee, Fla.; and Tammy Fields, television news anchor at WJXT in Jacksonville, Fla.
? Feb. 18, 7 p.m., Brown Hall courtyard, "Coffee House" an informal evening planned for students to express themselves through songs, poetry or storytelling.
? Feb. 21, 7 p.m., in the Biology/Chemistry Building auditorium, the movie "Barbershop" will be shown.
? Feb. 22, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., "Jubilee Festival" will feature a day of activities for the entire community, including a 5k walk/run; arts workshop; children's activities and a blood drive.

All activities and events are open to the public and offered free of charge, with the exception of the "Black Arts Festival Banquet" on Jan. 30.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, contact VSU's office of Equal Opportunity Programs and Multicultural Affairs at 333-5463.