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ATLANTA —  Family Day/Culture Fest, a daylong, family centered, free, outdoor program, will take place in Sweet Auburn with programs, cultural activities, food, and fun that local residents and visitors from the nation and around the world will not want to miss.  The gathering will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 30 and continue until 7:00 p.m., starting at Jackson Street and moving up Sweet Auburn to Howell Street.  The main stage will be on Auburn Avenue near Howell Street; the featured program will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Atlanta welcomes home-grown friends and family, new-school and old-school, to learn about the Martin Luther King Jr Historic District and to experience and enjoy the sweetness in Sweet Auburn.  Local artists and artisans, musicians, dancers, story tellers will offer fun experiences and activities for children, adults and families and a unique food court with ethnic food treats, scheduled tours and much more will be offered.
Along with a day of fun and learning, three of Atlanta’s cornerstone organizations:  the National Black Arts Festival, the National Historic Site/National Park Service (NPS) and Sweet Auburn Works (SAW) have partnered to offer a full and rich experience of the arts, the history, the culture and the people that have made the district a draw to millions from within and outside of Atlanta.  With Family Day/Culture Fest, the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) re-launches its tradition of a free outdoor festival, the National Park Service celebrates its milestone 100th anniversary and Sweet Auburn Works is recognized for its extraordinary renaissance of the district.
The line-up for festival activities is a menu of fun, learning and participatory experiences:
·         A children’s corner – including Little House of Art, storytelling for children by Mama KuKu.
·         A special opportunity from the National Park Service to participate in their Junior Ranger Program and become a Junior Ranger.
·         A Culture Fest/Culture Hunt – a scavenger hunt to encourage participants to visit and learn about locate sites and find special objects with prizes at the end.
·         Neighborhood tours featuring the history of Sweet Auburn – Prince Hall Masons Lodge Building, Butler Street YMCA, Martin Luther King Jr Birth Home, and more.
·         Storytelling featuring the renowned vocalist Kathleen Bertrand, Hattie Dorsey, and others.
·         Performances by Choirs from the churches on Sweet Auburn.
·         A scheduled program of performances that offer a blend of dance, art, theater, and music.
·         Porch Talks at various locations up and down Sweet Auburn will be held with speakers describing life on Sweet Auburn and discussing their personal experiences.  Presenters include members of the Dobbs Family speaking about John Wesley Dobbs; Mrs. Mary Gurley, a member of the Ebenezer Choir during Dr. King’s era; and Helen Mills, a 4th ward resident for 85 years.
·         Cooking demonstrations with Chef Sonya (the owner of Sweet Auburn Bread) – A healthy alternative to satiate your sweet tooth.
·         A focus on health and wellness to include health screenings and information and a program by the Auburn Avenue Research Library featuring Rashid Nuri to emphasize  nutrition and lifestyle for the Black community, the history of agriculture in the Black experience, and the impact on environmental inequality.
·         A food court will feature international cuisine and cuisine of the African Diaspora.
·         Local restaurants and businesses will offer 15% discounts for their products and services.
·         A first-aid station will be maintained throughout the day.
Family Day/Culture Fest has been made possible through the generous sponsorship support from American Family Insurance and Georgia-Pacific LLC, and is free and open to the public.   Support for Culture Fest has also been provided by NBAF, SAW and NPS.
For information about Sweet Auburn Works, please visit www.sweetauburnworks.com, or contact Marian Jones at 404-957-5332, mjones@sweetauburnworks.com. To find out more about the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, visit www.nps.gov/malu or contact Rebecca Karcher at 404-331-2242.  For information about the National Black Arts Festival, please visit www.nbaf.org or call 404-730-7315.
Please follow and like us on social media: @SweetAuburnWorks; @NationalParksService; @NBAF and use the hashtag #iCultureAuburn.

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