Halifax Street Jazz and Blues Festival Gets Funding
Petersburg City Council is providing $4,000 to help fund the Halifax Street Jazz and Blues Festival.
The event takes place the first Saturday and Sunday in June.
Hines: They had originally said they weren’t going to fund any festivals this year, but the jazz festival , this is their fourth year. It’s a community event, it’s free, it’s family oriented, and they just felt that it was worth investing in.
Patricia Hines is President of the Triangle Center for Development. The Festival, she says, is a chance for the community to get in touch with its past and invest in its future.
Hines: It’s a way of teaching a younger audience and children about jazz and what it means to the black culture. It’s just a very positive energy and it’s also a part of our plan to revitalize the Halifax triangle area and this is one of our annual events that really brings people down to the area. And hopefully this year they will look at the area and then when they come back next year they’ll really be able to see where progress has been made as far as maybe some new businesses. We are really trying to kickstart a community revitalization effort in that area.
The group, she pointed out, is already looking for funding for next year’s festival through the National Endowment for the Arts. The Halifax Triangle is right in the heart of downtown Petersburg.
Hines: It’s South Avenue, a portion of Halifax Street, as well as Harrison Street, and that makes a triangle. At one time it was a prominent black business community. You know, that’s where our dentists, our doctors, our barber shops, our drugstores, all of the business community when segregation was prevalent. That’s where we would shop, that’s where we would go. It has a long history of being the place where it had open markets for vegetables and we are bringing back that. We start that this month where every Saturday we will have a farmer’s market.
Hines, who lives now in Old Towne, says she hopes for the same kind of revitalization for the Halifax Triangle.
Hines: I’ve seen some amazing changes that have taken place down here. And we just envision that in another few years you will have that same time of energy and activity in this area as well.
The Triangle Center for Development has plans to paint a mural on the exterior walls of the former Wells Fargo building, which is now boarded up, telling the story of this unique part of Petersburg.
Hines: There is a serious undercurrent of change upon the whole city. And we are just trying to ride that tide as well.
Hines said the Halifax Street Jazz & Blues Festival is getting tremendous support from local musicians. Among those appearing are Flo King, Soul Logistics, Zack Artis, The Appomattox Regional Governor’s School Jazz Band and a Sunday line up of gospel acts. The Festival opens at 1 on Saturday the fifth of June, winding up around 10 that night, and then again from 2 until 6 on [Saturday, sic] Sunday.
John Ogle, WCVE News.