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Black Cultural Fest coming to Carlisle on Feb. 29

Black Cultural Fest coming to Carlisle on Feb. 29

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Hope Station’s annual Black History Month celebration is taking on a new focus this year as it unveils Black Cultural Fest.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 29 at Hamilton Elementary School, 735 Clay St., Carlisle. It features vendors, entertainment and the annual fashion show with students from Dickinson College.

The Jim Washington Station of Hope Award will be given to Sonya Browne, shelter supervisor at Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties and an advocate for justice issues.

Safronia Perry, executive director of Hope Station, said history is important and she’s sure there will be other events throughout February to draw attention to it. Hope Station, however, wants to celebrate black culture today.

“We’re saying, ‘Come see us, period,’ not just the history of us like we don’t exist anymore. History is very important, but our present and our future is just as important,” Perry said.

The festival will feature performances and vendors. Again this year, the vendors will be limited to black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

“For businesses, for people who are looking to showcase what their entrepreneurial business is, we want them to be black because this is a black cultural fest that will highlight black people,” she said.

Perry said resource vendors that will offer information and food vendors do not have to be black and will represent different races.

Vendor applications are being accepted. Interested vendors, including nonprofit organizations, should contact Hope Station at hopestation@hopestationcarlisle.org or at 717-470-7385 for further information.

The festival will also be the launchpad for the “I Matter” campaign, a project with James Burgess and the Carlisle Area Youth Council. The campaign will have a whiteboard on which visitors will be invited to write why they matter and then have their pictures taken.

After the festival, Burgess and Lindsay Varner, community outreach director with the Cumberland County Historical Society, will create a looped video that can be shared on Hope Station’s website and with other organizations.

Perry said the project is a way for children, especially, to understand why they matter and why they are important.

Email Tammie at tgitt@cumberlink.com. Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.

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