Music, Poets and Painters

The purpose for the Black Arts Festival is to create an awareness of the different genres of art, to serve as a medium for spreading knowledge of artistic diversity and to provide special focus on African American arts.

Holle Hooks, festival coordinator believes in the importance of diversity. “When we began the festival, we didn't want it to be about just music, but about all the arts. That is why this year we are going to have story tellers, drummers, dancers, poets, painters and musicians. It is going to be a wonderful experience.”

In its second year, the Black Arts Festival delivers a missing link to the arts community.

“Basically, there hasn't been an arts festival that showcased the talents of the African American artist,” she said. “Last year almost half of our vendors were non-African American. The diversity was great and the community loved it.”

Robert Martin, a local artist who will be a vendor at the festival, speaks of some of the inspirations that lead him to a life of arts.

“Throughout my entire childhood and adolescence, the entire realm of fine arts created an expressive outlet,” he said. “Whether it was visual art, music, drama, dance or theatre, the world of fine arts broke me from the usual groupings associated in childhood development and upbringing.”

As an artist, it is easy to see where Martin places his importance, not only in his work but in fellow artists as well.

“Compositional layout, color theory, concepts and process, along with the emotional quality of brush stroke and technique really catch my eye,” Martin said.  “I relate to works obviously strewn with passion and sentiment. Fine art is created by heart, mind and hand, regardless of genre, media or talent skill.”

Both Hooks and Martin agree on the importance of continuing the growth of the Black Arts Festival.

“Continuation and additions each year is vital. The area of fine arts is broad and limitless, cross cultural and cross denominational,” Martin said. “Fine art is universal and can be found, cherished and valued word wide.”

“It is a very open festival,” said Hooks. “It is for the community and it is a way to come see some very unique styles in art.”

The Black Arts Festival will be Saturday, September 22, in Edwards Park in Oklahoma City. There is a need for volunteers, sponsorships and donations. Information is available at or call Holle Hooks at 410-6842.

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