Musician Kofi Mawuko will be part of a black music celebration on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St.
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Ricardo Morris

Ricardo Morris is presenting the first Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts and Ideas, a five-day event that begins Thursday, June 14, coincides with Father's Day on June 17 and concludes with Juneteenth on Tuesday, June 19.

The festival highlights local black artists showcasing talents in music, dance, theater, visual arts, film and literature.

"The first and most important outcome I want the festival to achieve is to awaken the greater Chattanooga community to the broad spectrum of exemplary work by black artists in our own backyard," said Morris.

"This celebration will allow other ethnicities to better understand and embrace the concept that while these works of art may be created by black people and reflective of the black condition, they more importantly speak to the human condition in ways that only the arts can do," he explains.

Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas Schedule

-June 14 : Staged reading of "Don't Suffer in Silence: When Sexual Abuse Hits Your Home!" by Charles Patterson, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., 6 p.m., free.

-June 15: Screening of "Michael Valentine," the 2018 Best Short Film Award winner at the Inspired Faith Film Festival, and screening of the movie, "Treasure," both by Shelia Wofford; Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., 6 p.m., free.

Michael Valentine is a top executive, career-oriented woman who must choose between the love of her life and her career and deal with life's unexpected twist.

In "Treasure," Skye White returns home for a family emergency. Being back in her father's house unlocks a story that leads to a treasure that changes her life forever.

-June 16: Black Music Month Celebration, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., 11:30 a.m., free. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Adult beverages will be sold.

Entertainment Schedule:

-11:30 a.m. Kofi Mawuko African Drumming Circle

-Noon Ogya World Music Band

-1:45 p.m. Brewer/Jones Strings,

-3 p.m. Tee Bumpass Band

-4:15 p.m. Young, Gifted & Black

-5:30 p.m. Hip-Hop/Rap by Seaux Chill

-6:45 p.m. Jazz fusion by Dexter Bell & Friends

-June 16: Poetic Kama Sutra, Chattanooga Theatre Centre lobby, 400 River St., 9 p.m., $25. This spoken-word group remixes the synergy of poetry. Adult beverages will be for sale. Stay and watch the Riverbend Festival fireworks finale from CTC lawn about 11 p.m.

-June 17: "Black Dads Matter" panel talk, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., 3:30 p.m., free. Discussion with local clergy about the impact and influence of the church on the black community. What are ways that faith-based organizations can help move the community forward?

-June 17: Gospel Pic-Nic, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., 5 p.m., free. Bring your father, or fathers bring the kids, to this celebration of black fathers on Father's Day. There will be food trucks as well as local restaurants near the stage to purchase food. Bring your own picnic spread and enjoy music presented by four local gospel choirs.

-June 18: "Let Freedom Ring" art exhibit, Association for Visual Arts, 30 Frazier St., 6 p.m.; followed by panel discussion at 7 p.m., free.

Local artist Charlie Newton is artist-in-residence at AVA through June 22. During the residency, Newton will produce a large-scale painting on canvas entitled "The Lamentation of Ed Johnson." The festival is hosting a special viewing of Newton's exhibit along with a panel discussion dealing with access for local black visual artists.

-June 19: Juneteenth commemoration ceremony, Chattanooga City Hall Steps, 100 E. 11th St., noon, free. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

The commemoration will begin on the steps of City Hall, where local educator and playwright LaFrederick Thirkill will present a dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. Immediately preceding and following his reading there will be performances of traditional spirituals. Mayor Andy Berke will read a proclamation declaring June 14-19 a celebration of Chattanooga Black Arts and Ideas in remembrance of Juneteenth. The Negro National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," as arranged by Chattanooga educator and composer Roland M. Carter, will close the program.

-June 19: "Untold History" Vol.2, Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave., 7:30 p.m., $10.

Young Gifted and Black, a performance art company under the direction of Garrell Woods, will present an exploration of the black experience in America expressed through song, spoken word and theatrics.

Contact Yolanda Putman at or 423-757-6431.


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