GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The nonprofit A Glimpse of Africa is hosting its annual African Cultural Festival Aug. 12-13 at Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature music and dance performances as well as a flag ceremony paying tribute to the 54 countries in Africa. There will also be vendors selling food, art and other merchandise.
“It’s a very, very wonderful cultural experience,” said Fridah Kanini, founder and CEO of A Glimpse of Africa. “You get to immerse yourself and learn about the African culture and community members that are here in West Michigan.”
The event is geared toward people of all ages. Activities on Saturday begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at 10 p.m. Sunday’s events begin at 10:30 a.m. and finish at 5:30 p.m. A complete schedule of performers and events can be seen on A Glimpse of Africa’s website, aglimpseofafrica.org.
The festival was first held by A Glimpse of Africa in 2019.
The organization, which was formed around that same time, was created to advocate for the region’s African immigrant and refugee population. Estimates by local refugee resettlement agencies put the region’s African immigrant and refugee population at more than 8,000.
“Our mission really truly is to make sure that the African immigrants and refugees are visible, advocated for, and find a sense of belonging,” said Kanini, who was born and raised in Kenya and moved to the U.S. in 2001. “We try to remove the language and cultural barriers.”
Calder Plaza, where the festival is being held, is located at 320 Ottawa Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.
Source : mlive