Up & Coming Weekly

February 21, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 12 of 24

12 UCW FEBRUARY 22 - 28, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM ASHLEY SHIRLEY, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 EVENTS Actress, director, and activist Nadine Labaki said of filmmaking: "Cinema is not only about making people dream. It's about changing things and making people think." roughout its 130-year history, film has been a universally beloved form of entertainment and a crystal clear lens by which to view society. A film can be a window to another world, far away places, and an oppor- tunity to see into the lives of others. In collaboration with e Arts Council of Fayetteville and Cumberland County and its Black Culture Experience, e North Carolina African Film Festival is coming to Fayetteville from Friday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Volta Space in Downtown Fayetteville. e Black Culture Experience, which runs from February through March, is "a series of compelling programs selected by the Arts Coun- cil that educate, uplift and empower communities of color," shared Christy McNeil, Director of Marketing for the Arts Council. e festival focuses on filmmakers from Africa and the African Diaspora who bring stories from the continent to life in innovative, compelling ways. According to their website, "e art of cinematic storytelling manifests through treasured tales of social issues, economic dispari- ties, conflict resolutions and global inequalities faced by communities of African descent to learn from the past and visualize all the possibilities that advancement brings." Film festivals, at their core, are a celebration of art and an opportunity for audiences to experience stories that might go otherwise unseen. e idea of "connection," using the past to inform the future, and closing cultural gaps are just a few of the festival's aims since its debut in 2020. is year's films offer an exciting array of languages, settings and issues that are perhaps specific to African culture but speak to humanity as a whole. Olive Nwosu, in a blend of Yoruban and English, explores the complexity of returning home after the death of a parent in her film "Egúngún." "Mmam Moeketsi," directed by Reabetswe Moeti, tells the brutal true story of wage politics in South Africa. Other films on the docket deal with the fear and uncertainty of being un- documented, strained family relation- ships, and mental illness — topics that should resonate with audiences from every corner of the globe. In addition to the film screening, festival-goers can attend artist-talk sessions, various workshops related to film and filmmaking, and several networking opportunities. For aspiring filmmakers, the North Carolina African Film Festival offers a chance to see the fine machinery of filmmaking up close and an opportu- nity to learn the tricks of the trade. e North Carolina African Film Festival offers the audience an intimate gaze into the lives of Black people as told by Black people. ese aren't stories about Africa from the distorted lens of Hollywood but an opportunity to walk hand in hand on the streets of Soweto or the villages of Nigeria with the people who call them "home." For more information about the fes- tival and a full list of films visit https:// www.ncafricanfilmfestival.com/. e Volta Space is located at 116 Person St. Fayetteville welcomes NC African Film Festival by ASHLEY SHIRLEY Country vocalists, post-grunge bands and a Michael Jackson tribute highlight performers coming for the 41st annual Fayetteville Dogwood Fes- tival, organizers announced Feb. 15. Ax throwing and a giant rock wall will also be part of the fun at the April 27-30 festival. Executive Director Sarahgrace Mitchell and the festival board of directors presented a preview of the three-day festival at Segra Stadium. Live music, food vendors, a BMX bike stunt show, and a street fair with local performers are on tap through- out downtown Fayetteville as local restaurants and shops welcome thou- sands of visitors. Musical acts are among the best draws for Fayetteville's biggest festival, including local acts and national names who will perform on the main stage at Festival Park. Ashland Craft and David Nail will be the main acts on Friday night, April 28. With hits like "Make It Past Georgia" and "I Smoke Weed," Craft has made a name in country. She will hit the stage at 8 p.m. with her deep, bluesy voice and guitar-heavy set. Her modern country blues style is likened to her influences, Miranda Lambert and Bonnie Raitt. Friday night headliner David Nail hit it big with fun-loving songs like "Let It Rain," "Whatever She's Got" and "Red Light." His style of country music will have fans on their feet. e fireworks show Boom and Bloom will follow Nail's performance. Saturday will bring local acts start- ing at 2 p.m. in Festival Park before the night gets a post-grunge edge with rock bands LIT and Buckcherry. "My Own Worst Enemy" was a hit for California-based LIT in 1999, and the band has maintained a strong radio presence since. Another California band, Buckcher- ry, will take the stage at 9 p.m. with well-known hits like "Everything." On Sunday, the national tour of "Who's Bad: e Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience" will kick off at 7:30 p.m. after a series of local acts beginning at 2:30 p.m. One of the local acts on Sunday will be the rowback Collaboration Band, featuring lead singer Adolph omas and guitarist Duce omas playing R&B and soul. Based in Fayetteville, the band has been together four years and has played at festivals across the state. "We play '70s and '80s Motown dance-style music," said Adolph omas. A limited number of front-row seats are on sale at www.thedogwoodfesti- val.com. Of course, the music is just one part of the fun at the festival, as activities will extend throughout the downtown area. A festival tradition, "e Cork and Fork: A Premier Food and Wine Event," is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. April 27 at Festival Park. Tickets can be purchased at the Fayetteville Dog- wood Festival website. A silent auction will benefit this year's nonprofit part- ner, Fayetteville Urban Ministry. Other favorites returning to the fes- tival include the Airborne Aerial enter- tainers, performing Saturday near the Festival Park Plaza food court. On Sat- urday and Sunday, BMX stunt shows will take place on Hay Street, between City Hall and the Hotel Prince Charles, and Ring Wars Carolina will stage wrestling tournaments at Ray Avenue and Hay Street. A car, motorcycle and truck show is scheduled on Sunday at Market Square, Person Street and Green Street. Interested motorists can reg- ister their vehicles for the show at the festival website. Two children's areas, the KidZone sponsored by Carolina Fun Factory and the Midway, which will host car- nival rides for children and adults, will be at the corner of Mason Street and Ray Avenue. New activities planned this year include the Axes and Armor Hatchet House, where the adventurous can throw axes for free. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Gil- lespie Street. For more information about the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, in- cluding how to purchase tickets for front-row seating or the Cork and Fork event, visit www.thedogwoodfesti- val.com. Dogwood Festival plans musical variety, traditional fun by JAMI MCLAUGHLIN, CityView Today JAMI MCLAUGHLIN, CityView Today. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200.

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