CELEBRATING CULTURE: Iowa Festival Honors Black Community

In honor of black history month, a popular Des Moines event is back for its 16th year.

Held at Hy-Vee Hall, The I’ll Make Me A World festival celebrates African-American culture blending entertainment and education.

Beverly Couch has attended the festival for six years. She said the reason she comes back  is all because of the sense of community.

“People are willing to come together to get along together to learn together that`s the most important part of it,” Couch said.

Festival director Betty Andrews said the event continues to grow in popularity.

“We realized we have kind have struck a nerve and our numbers fulfilled a niche and from there our numbers kept doubling every year,” Andrews said.

Popular comedian and actor Anthony Anderson was one of the performers at Saturday’s event.

Andrews says people may think the event is only for African-Americans but the event is actually geared anyone who wants to learn more about African-American culture. Organizers expected 15,000 people to attend Saturday’s event but said the snowy weather kept those numbers down.

African-Americans make up 3 percent of Iowa’s ethnic demographic.


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