ROSWELL — Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs presents the 21st annual Roswell Roots Festival to celebrate Black History Month.
Roswell Roots is a month-long celebration with weekly programming, events and exhibitions that highlight educational, cultural and historic awareness. The City of Roswell, in partnership with the volunteer-based Roswell Roots committee, look forward to further connecting the community to this important celebration. For the complete list of programs and events, visit www.RoswellRoots.com.
The Festival’s opening weekend begins with a performance by Orchestra Noir at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. Orchestra Noir, Atlanta’s all African-American orchestra, will celebrate the achievements of African-American musicians with classical arrangements fused with modern approaches to today’s genres of music. Inspiring young African-American musicians through music education and advocacy, Orchestra Noir is recognized for its work with local communities and Grammy Award-winning artists. Their blend of classical, hip-hop and R&B music is a musical phenomenon that is a must-see during the Festival.
On Sunday, Feb. 6, Roswell Roots will host Super Museum Sunday. Guests will have the opportunity to tour the Southern Trilogy historic house museums (Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall and Smith Plantation) for free, and experience various exhibits and events throughout the day. Guests can visit Mimosa Hall & Gardens to view the African-American Inventor’s exhibit and enjoy a reading of “Have You Thanked an Inventor Today?” by Author Patrice McLaurin. While guests tour the grounds, they will be immersed in the history of Roswell’s historic homes and the cultural significance it holds in the City.
“Super Museum Sunday will open the doors of our historic house museums and assets for free to the public, providing history and cultural immersion for guests of all ages,” said Dena Bush, Historic Assets Manager. “Through open-hearth cooking demonstrations, theatrical presentations, exhibits and specialized tours, we hope that visitors will walk away with a better understanding of the significance that Black history and culture holds in Roswell.”
The Festival, in collaboration with the Black History Mobile Museum, will also host Black History 101 at the Bill Johnson Community Center at Roswell Area Park on Saturday, Feb. 12. From live entertainment to centuries-old stories, Black History 101 will give guests a snapshot of black art, culture and history all in one place.
Guests will learn about black art and culture, view artifacts at the Black History Mobile Museum, listen to lectures and African storytelling, experience dance and drum performances and participate in special hands-on art projects with Roswell’s Creation Station and Paint Love, a local non-profit.
The Festival will also host the Fulton County Remembrance Coalition’s exhibit Lives Taken, Lives Remembered. This powerful exhibit documents and honors African-Americans who were victims of lynching in Fulton County between 1877 and 1950 through the fine craft of quilting.
The final performance of this year’s Roswell Roots Festival will be An Evening of Spoken Word at the Roswell River Landing. This special evening is not to be missed. The evening features award-winning spoken word artists Ashlee Haze and Joan “Lyric” Leslie. Along with the musical accompaniment of guitarist Sharod Virtuoso, the poets will lead a night of powerful, intimate performance while sharing the stories that explore a Black Women’s journey.
“Roswell Roots continues to emphasize the importance of celebrating and recognizing our diverse community. With events and programs throughout February, there is an opportunity for everyone, of all ages, to join us in learning, engaging and connecting to a deeper appreciation of the contributions and stories of Black history and culture,” stated Beckie Hawkins, Cultural Arts Manager.
This is just a sampling of all the programs and events happening during the 21st annual Roswell Roots Festival. To learn more information, view the entire event schedule, or to purchase tickets or register for programs, please visit www.RoswellRoots.com.