RISE festival will mark Black History Month

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Producers behind the yearly Phoenix Affair RISE! Weekend announce plans to stage their seventh annual celebration to recognize February as National Black History Month.

The festival is scheduled from Feb. 27 to March 1.

Plans for the three-day event include a renewed effort to put a face on the rich heritage of the local African-American community by staging a rare photos and artifacts exhibit with a special opening night reception on Friday, Feb. 27.

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Community leader Liz Tomlin has been asked to be a special curator of the exhibit.

Other events being planned for the 2009 RISE! Weekend include The Phoenix Affair—a fashion and theater show—and a “Gospel In The Park” concert Sunday afternoon at Willis Park in downtown Bainbridge on Sunday, March 1. The gospel event will showcase local and area black gospel choirs and bands.

“We’re still a very young annual Black History Month celebration, but we’re excited to make it this far after starting just six years ago with an idea and no budget,” said Rahn D. Fudge, the executive producer of RISE! “I think this year’s RISE! weekend celebrations will be especially poignant in the wake of President Obama’s inauguration as the first African-American president.”

Fudge is from San Francisco, Calif., but is a 1979 graduate of Bainbridge High School.

A full, detailed list of the 2009 RISE! Weekend schedule of events including exact times, ticket costs and locations is pending and will be announced in early February.

To participate or volunteer with planning for the weekend, please call (229) 248-0898 and ask for Betty Fudge-Biggles.