A celebration of Iowa’s African-American heritage begins today (Friday) in Des Moines and continues through the weekend. Betty Andrews is one of the organizers of the “I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa Celebration.” She says it began in 1998 when a company called Blackside Entertainment was putting together a documentary on black art and entertainment called “I’l Make Me a World.” She says the company asked for contributions for the documentary and Iowa complied. Andrews says that contribution became “I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa.” She says it ended up being the all-state celebration of African-American arts, culture and contributions. She says the growth has been amazing, as they thought they’d get 300 to start, but ended up with one thousand. Andrews says they expect over four thousand alone to attend the events on Saturday. The celebration begins with education day today (Friday) from nine a-m until two p-m at the State Historical Building. There’s a gala tonight in Johnston, and then there’s celebration day on Saturday at the State Historical Building. She says celebration day is a non-stop day of performances, food vendors, exhibitors and art vendors. Andrews says the events are free and open to the public.She says they really want to emphasize that this is not just something for African-Americans. She says it’s for all Iowans because, “African-American history is every American history.” The celebration day events begin at 10 a.m. and runs until 10 p.m. Saturday at the State Historical Building.
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