Black art comes in many forms, such as music and dance. (Picture provided by Black Arts Festival mke)

Black Arts Fest MKE celebrated its second year at Henry Maier Festival Park on Aug. 3, where it featured a variety of Black businesses and art. The festival ran from noon to 7 in the evening and was opened to anyone interested in partaking in the festivities.

African clothing, Jamaican food, live music and fun for the kids attracted a big crowd throughout the day, despite the chance of rain.

Known as Lady Renaissance of MLK Dr., Marquita Edwards brought her face painting skills to the fest for children. Edwards said she’s all for events that shed a positive live on the arts.

According to Edwards, these types of events expands people’s knowledge.

“They should come out and support every year,” said Edwards.

Since this is a festival empowering the Black culture, along with the arts were healthcare representatives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Offices of Minority Health, the death rate for African Americans is generally higher than whites for heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

Ascension Healthcare was one of the providers available at the fest providing free screenings, information and resources to festival goers.

Brenda Hoskins, from Ascension Healthcare, said as a pillar in the community it is Ascension’s duty to be at the festival.

“We have a great number of sources we want people to know about,” said Hoskins. Ascension has five key areas of focus:

• Improving the health status of our communities
• Making healthcare more affordable through effective care coordination and management
• Providing a foundation to support healthcare’s transition to fee-for-value
• Protecting patient and
associates through effective risk management and safety strategies
• Offering financial insurance services to Ascension and affiliated providers

With this year being a success, Black Arts Fest MKE Executive Director Patrice Harris hopes to continue the festival for years to come.

To find how to support Black Arts Fest MKE, visit