For the past 13 years, Beverly Bond has been celebrating the magic of Black girls and women through her Black Girls Rock! Awards. Since its humble beginnings in 2006, the brand has grown in size and scope with Bond partnering with BET to air the annual celebration on its networks. Now a new partnership with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will allow the Bond to expand her vision once again, this time into a three-day festival set to take place next month in Washington, D.C.
The inaugural Black Girls Rock! Festival (BGR! FEST for short) will make its debut during International Women’s Day weekend on March 8th-10th and will celebrate the music and culture of Black women artists, creatives and leaders. The weekend will feature several events and live performances by artists like Jazmine Sullivan and Maimouna Youssef. Other highlights include a welcome party that is free and open to the public that will feature the sounds of MC Lyte and Bond on the 1s and 2s, panel discussions and a book talk with Bond and several of the women featured in her book, Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth.
“It’s a tremendous honor for us to collaborate with Black Girls Rock! — it serves as such an important platform for centering and elevating the stories of Black women and we are thrilled to launch this transformative project and future endeavors with BGR founder and visionary Beverly Bond,” Simone Eccleston, Director of Hip Hop Culture and Contemporary Music at the Kennedy Center, said in a statement. “This particular program deepens our commitment to celebrating Black women and their contributions and role in shaping American culture.”
Bond also expressed her excitement for the expansion of the celebratory event, saying, “I am thrilled to be launching the BGR! FEST with the prestigious Kennedy Center, a true pillar of artistic excellence, and to expand the Black Girls Rock! brand to the nation’s capital, home to one of the most vibrant communities of color in the country.”
For a schedule of events and learn more about the inaugural BGR! FEST, be sure to check out the Black Girls Rock! website.