A day of remembrance, reflection and reverence: That’s what organizers want  Freedom Fest to represent. The event takes place during Black August, a tradition started in the 1970s by freedom fighters who wanted to honor Black resilience and liberation, and to acknowledge the countless contributions of Black activists.

This year marks the Black Artist Collective’s third annual Freedom Fest, taking place on Aug. 19 at 4 p.m. at the Everson Museum of Art Plaza, 401 Harrison St., in collaboration with Light Work’s Urban Video Project.

BAC’s Freedom Fest was created to celebrate joy among Black, brown and indigenous communities while highlighting local businesses. 

Black Artist Collective members at 2022 Freedom Fest in Syracuse, New York. Photo courtesy Cjala Surratt.

“We have other events here in the city that center us. This event feels a little more current, and it’s something new, something from a fresh perspective,” said Jaleel Campbell, illustrator and co-founder of Black Artist Collective. 

The organization is well known for hosting events throughout Syracuse that spread awareness about Black, brown and indigenous artists who hail from or are based in Syracuse.  

“It gives us visibility. We are really spreading the word about not only centering blackness, but also just centering BAC and showing people here in the city that we are here to stay,” Campbell said. “And we want to continue to produce these quality events that make people come out.”

Guests will be able to participate in the urban market shopping experience, engage in arts and crafts activities and browse from a selection of vendors, food trucks, local businesses and nonprofits. 

The community and family-friendly event will include live music by Dj Shaykey and Haudenosaunee band the Stone Throwers. 

Afterward, attendees are invited to a free outdoor movie screening, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” by filmmaker Ryan Coogler starting at 8 p.m. 

“It is just going to be such a beautiful moment to look back on after the fact. I haven’t gone to a public screening of Wakanda Forever,” Campbell said. “So the fact that we’re bringing that here is really dope, and I think that is something that should be celebrated.”

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