Roswell Roots 2021

This year, there will be a variety of virtual, in-person, and live-streamed events, including a speaker series, art exhibits and historical programs.

Roswell will be hosting the 20th Annual Roswell Roots Festival throughout the month of February in recognition of National Black History Month.

Roswell Roots: A Festival of Black History and Culture is one of the largest and most comprehensive celebrations of Black history and culture in the Southeast. This year, there will be a variety of virtual, in-person, and live-streamed events, including a speaker series, art exhibits and historical programs.

Selected highlights of this year’s festival include the following.

Artist Workshops with Paint Love

♦ Paint Workshops, Feb. 2 to 23, Ages 7 to 13, every Tuesday at Roswell Visual Arts Center

♦ Clay Workshops, Feb. 4 to 25, Ages 11 to 14, every Thursday at Roswell Arts Center West

Participants can sign up for a single workshop or receive a discount for attending all four workshops, starting at $10. Each session of the Roswell Roots Art Series will feature Paint Love’s expert teaching artists leading young participants through a creative project that explores issues of identity and celebrates diversity in their community. Clay Workshops include Colonware Pottery, Folk Art, Contemporary Abstract Art, and Sculpture. Paint Workshops include Spoken Word/Poetry, Paper Arts/Puppetry, Painting and Fabric Arts.

Speaker Series: Join Roswell Roots for renowned artists, authors and illustrators!

♦ Series runs Feb. 3 to 24 at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

Virtual and live-stream options are available and prices range from free to $5. Join Roswell Roots for speakers like South Carolina native Dr. J. Drew Lanham, author of “The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature.” His work received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal.

Mechal Renee Roe is a valuable voice who has self-published titles such as “Happy Hair” to promote embracing unique and natural beauty. She is also the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator for the book “Superheroes Are Everywhere,” written by Madam Vice President Kamala Harris. Artist Roederick Vines will also speak and hold a book singing.

The African Americans Inventors’ Exhibit

♦ Feb. 17 to 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Osage Terrace Room at Bulloch Hall. Free, but registration is required.

Come see this masterpiece historical exhibit unique to Roswell. The African Americans Inventors’ Exhibit is a 26-item travelling exhibit that showcases inventions by several African Americans and is displayed in alphabetical order from A to Z. The exhibit cultivates conversation about how these inventions impact our society today, as well as promotes new interest and an increased awareness of inventions by African Americans.

Dancing and Drumming with Djoli Kelen

♦ Feb. 27, 2 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at East Roswell Recreation Center, $10

Join Roswell Roots and Djoli Kelen, an intergenerational Metro-Atlanta non-profit that transforms the boundaries of performance through collective arts. We will be hosting both a dance and drum class that are sure to fill you with energy and vibrant culture.

The dance class will run from 2 to 3 p.m. The traditional West African dance class incorporates traditional dances, songs, and history that are part of West African culture. It is high-energy and accompanied by live music. It’s open to any level of experience.

The drum class will run from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. This traditional West African drum class incorporates traditional music and history that is a part of West African culture. Participants will mainly be using the djembe orchestra, which includes djembes (hand drums of the Manding ethnic group) and dununs (drums played with sticks). You can bring your own drum or borrow one of ours. Class is open to any level of experience.

For a full list of Roswell Roots programs, please visit www.RoswellRoots.com. For more information on booking your reservation for any of these programs, as well as COVID-19 protocols, visit www.RoswellRoots.com. For questions, please contact Corinne Sutherlin at 770-594-6199 or csutherlin@roswellgov.com.

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