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ATLBlackArts.com was founded by Okeeba Jubalo, an artist and entrepreneur who has successfully worn a number of creative hats within our great city of Atlanta, Georgia. As the Executive Creative Director of NobleSol Art Group, founding publisher of Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine and CEO of Okeeba Jubalo Fine Art, Jubalo understands the importance of skillfully fusing creativity and opportunities together.
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National Black Arts Festival celebrates 30 years of arts and educational excellence
by Nailah Heard
The National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) celebrates 30 years of excellence at the elegant Flourish Atlanta by Legendary Arts venue located in Atlanta, GA. The 30th NBAF: What Makes A Legend gala focuses on artists of African descent who create and push forth the innovative essence of African and African-American culture.
Among the dynamic artists who contributed their groundbreaking artwork includes Kenyan-born sculptor and painter Grace Kisa, who gleamed as she stated, “The gala reminded me the NBAF was more than an organization, it was a movement.” Artist and founder of YBE Magazine Okeeba Jubalo gave great remarks about the gala, he added, “30 years is a great accomplishment. Reimagining the role of the NBAF and their relationship with Atlanta’s arts community will be the key to another successful 30 years.” Pioneer fashion designer, Cedric Brown, and fine art master Maurice Evans was in attendance as well. Atlanta based fine artist Lillian Blades stated, “The NBAF Gala has raised the bar of excellence, incomparable and unprecedented!”
NBAF has a history of advancing artistic and educational programs in visual arts, music, film, dance theater and literary arts. NBAF is acknowledged as the oldest multidisciplinary arts organization in the United States which advances the arts and contributions of artists of African descent.
There were over 500 guests of the evening and as they entered the art gallery while mingling with longtime friends and associates, they were able to soak in the beauty and inspiration of over 20 multifaceted art pieces. Some art pieces included pop-out art, fashion pieces and contemporary paintings. The art gallery exposed riveting art pieces that were clearly executed with detail, style and grace. Each piece carried its own individualism and uniqueness.
Following the art exhibit there was a performance by an all-girls youth band who twirled their cymbals with style and beat on the drums with fierceness and speed. The audience praised the band for showcasing and executing their performance with confidence and skill. NBAF is known for supporting the youth and their artistic endeavors which contributes to the next generation of visual, performing and creative arts. NBAF CEO and president Vikki Morrow mentioned, “The Gala was a wonderful celebration of 30 years of amazing artists and NBAF supporters.”
NBAF has created a platform where many artists of African descent can expressively create and narrate their own stories through their personal craft. Many artists were honored for their exceptional work such as painter and mixed media artist Radcliffe Bailey, who was presented the Luminary Award for his special artwork. Additionally, Ingrid Saunders Jones former Coca-Cola foundation chair was honored with the Living Legend Award for her rich contributions to educational and art programs worldwide and her specific support of NBAF.
NBAF has received an extraordinary amount of financial support from donors such as Coca Cola, Georgia Pacific, WellsFargo, Bank of America, American Family Insurance, Publix and many others, in addition to the support of the local government and community supporters. Those who care and support NBAF’s purposeful journey will ultimately serve as a stimulus that will aid artists in networking and building relationships locally, nationally and internationally.
There are many notable attendants and special guests such as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Fulton County Commission Chairman Rob Pitts, WSB News Anchor Jovita Moore and City Councilmember of District 11 Atlanta Marci Collier Overstreet. Many people including Marci Overstreet posted on social media in glee of the NBAF event, Overstreet says, “Happy 30th to NBAF! Supporting the National Black Arts Festival means investing in free year-round programming to our youth and enriching communities that wouldn’t normally receive it.”
The center of NBAF’s mission is to identify talent and encourage creativity among young people of African descent. NBAF promotes diversity and success in the arts for people of African descent by working to grow the next generation of artists. NBAF continues to showcase emerging artists to help market their work and advance their careers.
NBAF’s three-decade long legacy consists of recognizing artists who have blazed the trail to enrich the culture of many African descendants. Impeccable artists such as Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka and Jessica Care Moore all create their own remarkable art that shows young people that their artwork can also be a part of the next 30 years of history.
NBAF’s mission is held in high regard tonight as people mingle in the space that encourages artistic and cultural diversity. NBAF’s 30th anniversary gala has been a great success and will continue to enrich and strengthen the future of many creative individuals of African descent.