Photo courtesy of Carolyn Pierotti
"Decoration" by Norman Brown, part of First Fruit: Bring Me Your Best at Sweetwater Center for the Arts
Each year, the Sweetwater Center for the Arts
in Sewickley hosts the Mavuno Festival: Celebration of African American Arts and Culture. Mavuno
is a Swahili word meaning “harvest” and “roots,” and the festival is dedicated to showcasing a wide variety of Black artists to speak to that history. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, and to celebrate, Sweetwater will host an outdoor event complete with live music and present a wide variety of work by Black artists from throughout the region.
For Mavuno, Sweetwater will open First Fruit: Bring Me Your Best
, an exhibition described in a press release as featuring work that "spans a generation of creating and highlights the artist’s individual experiences and talent using various media."
Opening on Fri., Sept. 17, the show, which was curated by Carolyn Pierotti, includes artists Norman Brown, Dr. Amber Epps, Jayla Patton, Dominique Scaife, and Brett Wormsley, as well as Mavuno co-founder and artist Elizabeth Asche Douglas, who will also conduct a discussion about the festival's history and heritage.
Also included is an outdoor festival on Sat., Sept. 18 at Sewickley’s Riverfront Park, presented in partnership with Sadik Roberts, owner and founder of the marketing and event management company Pyramid PGH. Regional Black-owned businesses, artists, and vendors will be available, as well as the Restart the Artsmobile, a food truck the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council converted to provide mobile arts experiences throughout the city.
There will be live music by LOCAL 412 featuring NON1, SpecialK, Fresco Savant, and Barbados Black.
The festival is part of Sweetwater's vision to “thrive as a regional asset and to lead innovative, relevant arts and cultural programming throughout the region.” Besides Manuvo, the center offers nearly 400 classes, workshops, and lectures each year spanning the visual, performing, literary, and culinary arts.
First Fruit: Bring Me Your Best Opening Reception
. 7-9 p.m. Fri., Sept. 17. Continues through Oct. 23. Sweetwater Center for the Arts. 200 Broad St., Sewickley. Free. sweetwaterartcenter.org
Mavuno Festival: Celebration of African American Arts and Culture
. 4-9 p.m. Sat., Sept. 18. 300 Chadwick St., Sewickley. Free. sweetwaterartcenter.org/upcoming-events