Black History Festival includes tribute to Whitney Houston - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Black History Festival includes tribute to Whitney Houston

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Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 12:00 pm

The annual Black History Celebration and Festival moves from the amphitheater at Peoria City Hall to the newly renovated Osuna Park next to Theater Works on Saturday.

Ervin Cutwright, chairman of the Northwest Black History Committee and the event’s organizer, said he hopes to gain even more attendees with the festival near Grand Avenue.

“We’re hoping that people drive by and see what’s going on, so they’ll stop,” Cutwright said. “This is just an experiment, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Cutwright said the event draws about 10,000, but they’re looking for more.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase our culture and for others to learn,” Cutwright said.

The event will feature food, vendors and entertainment throughout the day. Cutwright said they added a Whitney Houston tribute, where local singer Candice Chavez will do a mini-concert with the deceased entertainer’s hit songs.

“One of the band members played with Ms. Houston and got the blessing of the Houston family and management for us to have this Arizona tribute,” Cutwright said.

In addition to the festival, a special performance with jazz singer Dennis Rowland will kick off the festival on Friday night at Theater Works in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts.

“We’re hoping to bring a little more elegant twist to what we do and hopefully bring jazz enthusiasts to the West Valley as well,” he said.

Admission to the festival is free at Osuna Park, 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria. Dennis Rowland tickets are $22.50 to $27.50 at For information on the festival or other events, call 623-204-0959 or visit

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