The Rapidian

Unity Magazine's American Roots Festival at the Wealthy Theatre on February 25th

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

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 Unity Magazine’s American Roots Festival comes to the Wealthy Theatre on Friday February 25th to celebrate the cultural diversity and wide range of influences that all go into the rich tapestry of music that defines the American musical landscape. 


Dedicated to promoting unity and cultural solidarity in the community, Unity Magazine is published by Operation Resources Inc. of Grand Rapids, a local non-profit helping local youth gain access to opportunities for higher education since 1993. Having awarded over $60,000 in scholarships to 90 disadvantaged students, and serving the community with health and education awareness programs, Operation Resources Inc. has actively been engaged in giving individuals in our community a hand up, rather than a hand out.


In addition to breaking down the barriers to higher education, Operation Resources Inc. is dedicated to breaking down the barriers separating people of different cultures living side by side within the community. 


One of the best ways to bring people together in a community is not to point out their perceived differences, but rather to highlight their similarities, such as a shared appreciation for culture, art, food, or music.


Many of the cultural traditions that make up the framework of our musical heritage have served to unite people from all walks of life, creating a common bond between people all too often held apart by racial, social, political, and even religious barriers.


The American Roots Festival will be showcasing music from several of our country’s biggest cultural contributors. 


From Grand Rapids’ own Badenya, an eclectic drum ensemble inspired by traditional Malinke drumming, the experience of Africa’s proud heritage will be well represented. The members of Badenya take seriously the responsibility of being ambassadors for the rich legacy of African drumming, and freely share their knowledge and passion for the music. 


Blue Molly will share their electric blues sound, paying homage to the pioneers of the electrification of America’s signature sound. Taking things back even earlier, Black Cat Bone will play their brand of “stompin’ on the front porch blues” inspired by the Delta blues artists from the early 1900’s. 


Roosevelt Diggs with their string band roots sound celebrate the contributions of the european immigrants who settled in the Appalachians and evolved the bluegrass and country traditions.


Making an appearance on Local Resonance (WYCE 88.1FM) at 11am on friday February 25th, Hannah Rose Graves will discuss the American Roots Festival and perform some of her newest songs.


The show is sponsored by Chavarria Designs, The Beerhorst Family, Moxie Hair and Beauty, Sugar Skull Sweets, Media Monkey, Sierra Emery Photography, Heather Robinson Sculpture and Avon. 


Original art, jewelry, and even snacks will be available for purchase from several of the sponsors. Proceeds from the show will go to benefit Operation Resources Inc. Scholarship Fund.


For more information on Unity Magazine’s American Roots Festival, visit

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