NEW ORLEANS – The Bayou Road Business Association, Black Bayou Cultural Heritage & Economic Development Association, and Broad Community Connections will host HomeFest in celebration of Community Book Center on Saturday, Sept. 23. Held on the 2500th block of Bayou Rd., from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the event will honor Community Book Center’s 40th Anniversary, celebrate black entrepreneurship and uplift those businesses and organizations along Bayou Road.
Initiated as a response to the festival landscape having an underwhelming drive of promotion and patronage to local businesses, HomeFest was created in 2013 by Community Book Center’s Griot, Jennifer Turner, and its Founder, Vera Warren-Williams to draw people to Bayou Road, the pulse of New Orleans’ Black culture, art, and commerce. Its aim is to elevate cultural institutions, creatives and native talents while bringing economic development to areas outside of the CBD.
“This event has special significance in that it represents CBC’s 20th anniversary on Bayou Road, its 40th Anniversary in business. I’m grateful to be a part in Bayou Road’s growth as a cultural commercial district, and to celebrate our alliance in advocating for community literacy, historical preservation and culture.” says Vera Warren-Williams, founder and director of Community Book Center.
HomeFest is free and open to the public. The day will feature live music, food, drinks, curated activations, and a variety of retail and resource vendors. Additionally, the presenting sponsor, Kinfolk Foundation, will present a groundbreaking virtual monument activation that will immerse fest goers in local cultural history. Partners include Ashe Cultural Arts Center, The Black School, New Orleans Business Alliance and many more.
“HomeFest prioritizes community. In a city that thrives off of tourism and hospitality, our small business owners need access to that thriving economy. Nationally, Black businesses had a closure rate of 41%, twice the national average during COVID-19. It’s vital that we support our Black-owned businesses to not only grow the revenue of their institutions, but to support the employees and ecosystem that our communities depend upon to help combat our state’s racial wealth gap and preserve our neighborhoods,” said Dasjon “Dj” Jordan, executive director of Broad Community Connections.
To learn more about HomeFest 2023, visit www.bayouroad.com.