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'For the Culture' festival celebrates Indy's Black artists

Joshua "Sock Joplin" Allen performs at 'For the Culture'
Posted at 12:43 AM, Jul 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 10:39:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indy's very first 'For the Culture' festival celebrated local arts and culture all day on Saturday, July 2.

The event highlighted local Black artists and vendors.

Festival co-founder and multiskilled performing artist Teresa Reynolds grew up in the Circle City and recently returned after finding success in the Big Apple.

"As I saw things growing, I realized that there are opportunities here, and there's so much deep, rich culture here, and really so many creative people here in the city that I could collaborate with," she said.

This year, she collaborated with her childhood friend, Amanda Belcher, to create the festival.

Reynolds performed at the festival, and Belcher had a booth highlighting her business, Amanda Belcher Creative Designs, where she creates floral arrangements and balloon art for weddings and other high-end events.

"Growing up on the Near Eastside, it's a great way to come back here as an adult and really invest," Reynolds said.

Local artist Uzuki Asad came to the festival to support classical pianist Joshua "Sock Joplin" Allen, who primarily performs music composed by artists of African descent.

"I've watched the visual arts take off, music has grown so much, as you can see. There's an artist playing amazing classical music by Black people that no one's paying attention to. There's all of these amazing artisans and all of this other stuff that you normally see in other cities, but we're getting it right here at home," Asad said.

"Artistry is a community, and if we don't have that, we don't have what we need. This is how we take care of our spirits on a brass tax level. But it grows into so many other things. People are supporting their families off of what they do. The city is positioning itself to kill the starving artist moniker just by living," Asad said.

Taryan Temple managed to build a successful business, Triumphant Creationz, during the pandemic.

"These events are very important because it's allowing people like myself, I'm a high school teacher, and it allows me to get something I do on the side out there to the community," Temple said.

This is the first 'For the Culture' fest, but organizers hope it won't be the last. They're already looking for sponsors and planning for next year.