The Daily Gamecock

Event director Al Black talks about Rosewood Art and Music Festival

<p>Al Black, director of the Rosewood Arts and Music Festival, set up the festival to be a showcase of local art, literature and music.</p>
Al Black, director of the Rosewood Arts and Music Festival, set up the festival to be a showcase of local art, literature and music.

The sixth annual Rosewood Art and Music Festival next month will offer its visitors a full day of live music and art from local talent, and The Daily Gamecock got the chance to speak with Al Black, the event’s director, for a preview of the attractions.

The Rosewood Art and Music Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Rockaway Athletic Club and will feature a variety of art forms. One of the biggest attractions will be the 12 bands that will perform live on two different stages over the course of the day.

“One stage is setting up while the other one’s playing, and we will have each band introduced by a spoken word poet who will do a piece and then introduce the next band,” Black said.

The bands playing at the festival, many of which come from Columbia, play in a wide range of musical genres.

“We have everything from Americana to blues to jazz to alternative,” Black said.

Some of the local bands include the bluegrass band The Blue Iguanas, the rock band Daddy Lion, the hip-hop rapper Sheem One and the folk band Those Lavender Whales.

In addition to the music, the Rosewood Art and Music Festival will also have many artists exhibiting their work, crafts for sale, henna tattoos and a literary section.

In the literary section, authors will set up booths with their books and poetry and allow people to read their work. As the festival is at the burger restaurant Rockaway Athletic Club on Rosewood Drive, visitors will have the opportunity for food and beverages without leaving the event.

While it might be Black’s first year as the director of the festival, he is no stranger to the art scene of Columbia. Black puts on multiple art events in the Columbia area, such as the “Songversation” event he does once a month at Tapp's Arts Center. In this event, Black has conversations with singers/songwriters about where their music comes from and allows them to play some of their songs. Black can also be found doing two poetry and music shows, one every week at Pizza Man called “Mind Gravy,” and the other every third Monday at Good Life Cafe called “Magnify Magnolias.”

Black took his experience with him as he expanded the Rosewood Art and Music Festival by seeking out specialized coordinators to enhance each part of the event.

“There are two music coordinators, an art coordinator and there’s a literary coordinator so that you get more people directly related to the area of the festival they work in,” Black said.

A full list of the exhibiting artists and bands performing at the festival can be found on the festival's website,

“This event is totally free,” Black said. “We go out, and we get sponsors. There will be some great art, there will be a literary portion and there will be a wonderful set of bands.”


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