Summer at the Plaza
August 1: McDonald's Presents The Black Arts & Cultural Festival
12:00pm to 7:00pm
Formerly African American Family Day, join us in a celebration of the diverse history and culture of the people of the African Diaspora. One of New York’s greatest strengths is its diversity, and this event is a great opportunity to come to the Empire State Plaza and celebrate our state’s African American community through music, art, dance and activities.
Headlining this year's event is Will Downing "The Prince of Sophisticated Soul" with special guests Season 4 Sunday Best winner Amber Bullock, contemporary jazz flutist Ragan Whiteside, and the multi-cultural ensemble One World Tribe.
Expanded Kids’ Zone and interactive activities including pony rides, face painting, arts and crafts, science experiments and bounce rides.
Scratch Academy where kids can learn the techniques practiced by hip hop DJs.
Live demos including Austin's Barbershop battle, spoken word and poetry slam with Urban Guerilla Theater, Triple Threat All-Stars Cheerleading and Dance; and Trinity Alliance Hoops Challenge.
An Albany Center Gallery satellite exhibit with 18 artists showcasing their work on black arts and culture plus live paiting.
New Destination Areas
Destination Heritage: Access information and find out about services available for learning about the black experience, past to the present.
Destination Finance: Information and financial assistance plus a chance to win a financial makeover from Sunmark. Sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union
Destination Education: Find information on everything education related, from college admissions and student life to financial aid. Sponsored by University at Albany
Destination Empowerment: NYS Labor Department representatives will be onsite to provide information about their workforce initiatives plus a mini job fair. Sponsored by New York State Department of Labor
Destination Health & Wellness: Zumba and Bokwa fitness demonstrations, healthy cooking demos, and information on available insurance coverage and health services. MVP’s new community outreach vehicle will also be at this destination. Sponsored by MVP Health Care
Destination Beauty: Get syling tips, see demonstrations, and watch hair stylist and barber battles. The barber battle starts at 3 p.m. and will feature competitions in traditional cut and style; free style design; and duplicate design, as well as a speed fade battle. Sponsored by Austin’s School of Spa Technology
Activities, valuable information, and more!
12:00pm Opening Ceremony
12:45pm Plaza Lites Talent Competition Winners
1:30pm Amber Bullock
3:00pm Ragan Whiteside
4:30pm One World Tribe
6:00pm Will Downing
Austin's School Demonstrations
12:15pm Battle of the Brushes
3:00pm Barber Battle
Ongoing Demos All-Day
1:15pm Bowkwa Class
1:45pm Atito Ghoi African Dance
2:15pm Zumba Class
3:15pm Yoga Class
2:00pm Urban Guerilla Theatre
3:30pm Scratch Academy