FROM STAFF REPORTS
Members of the Bethune family held a press conference on Oct. 4 to announce the creation of the Mary McLeod Bethune Cultural Heritage Arts Festival to be held in Daytona Beach April 6-13, 2014.
Bethune-Cookman University will participate in the festival with activities focused on “five blessings’’ – education, civic engagement, business, health and wellness, and faith, said Dr. Evelyn Bethune, granddaughter of Mary McLeod Bethune.
In addition, the weeklong event will include an awards gala, an R&B and jazz concert, authors’ forum, book sales, a Black film festival and a gospel concert, among many other events to be held throughout the city.
“We see this growing into one of the biggest festivals in the southeast region,” Bethune said. “We are glad to have the participation of the Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Preservation Institute, Inc. to make this a true testament to my grandmother’s legacy.”
Those in attendance at a reception announcing the festival included B-CU’s Dr. Makola Abdullah, Provost; Dr. Hakim Lucas; Amanda MacCormac, The Daytona Pen Women; FRESH Book Festival Director Donna Gray-Banks; Michele Gilbert of YAM (Young Adult Ministries); Deborah Shafer, Volusia County Libraries – City Island; Cynthia Slater, NAACP; Stephanie Mason-Teague, Cinematique; and Bob Kovacevich, Avatar Company.
Others represented included members of the B-CU’s Alumni Association and Women’s Advisory Board as well as the Daytona Section of the National Council of Negro Women.