For the Culture Kansas Festival highlights Black culture in Sunflower State
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – For the Culture KS Fest is a celebration of African-American culture, giving black-owned businesses, artists, musicians, vendors and more the opportunity to share their talents in a space designed to bring people together.
“For the culture is more than just a festival,” says Mackenzi “Mac” Mondesir, the non-profits director of fundraising. “It’s really about creating programming that will continue to showcase a lot of great things that we’re about.”
Things that encourage growth and prosperity within the Black community.
“From empowerment to education, to mental, physical health, you know, financial literacy, those are all key components of how we plan on continuing to build.” says Mondesir.
The weeks festival was the beginning of a larger wave of what For the Culture KS seeks to expand into a bigger wave of community engagement for Black Americans in the Sunflower State.
Jekale Williams is Houston-based artist with Rooftop Vibe. He travelled all the way from Texas to be at this weeks festival, showing support and even organizing musicians to perform. He says this event’s benefits extend beyond the food, music and fun, positively impacting businesses and artists by connecting them to one another.
“I think the most important thing is the opportunities that could come afterwards,” says Williams. “The people that you meet, you usually make a lasting impression on and if you can do something like bring masses of people together. So I think the most important thing is how we can grow, where we can go from here and how we can continue to build and move the culture forward.”
Another major focus of the festivals organizers is showing young Black talent that there is opportunity and community right here in Kansas.
“We’re trying to inspire the young people to stick around and stay around,” says Alonzo Harrison, who sits on For the Culture Kansas’ Board of Directors and helped underwrite the financing for the event. “I have five daughters and none of them wanted to be in the Topeka. They all left to go in corporate America and we’re taking our brightest and our best and we’re losing them. Our brightest and best, we’re losing that bevy of individuals who have a lot to offer. And if we don’t give them a reason to stay, they don’t.”
For the Culture Kansas has plans to host more events focused on history, business, education and more in the future. More information can be found on its website or Facebook page.