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IBE announces new entertainment hall and performance lineup

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Press Release

In an effort to help inject life back into the community, this summer from July 9 through July 19, Indiana Black Expo Inc.’s (IBE) 39th Annual Summer Celebration will offer a host of new attractions, including discounted ticket prices, a “Community Day,” an exhibition hall makeover, which includes innovative exhibits, a new Entertainment Hall, a Stomp Da Yard Step Battle and much more.

“IBE’s primary goal is to offer more to its attendees for less, said Tanya Bell, IBE president and CEO.”  

As the largest cultural event in the nation, Summer Celebration annually attracts more than 300,000 attendees whose direct spending for the city of Indianapolis exceeds an estimated $72 million. From music and entertainment to business enhancement workshops; kid’s activities to the shopper’s one-stop destination; cultural arts to education, health and wellness to spiritual enrichment and more – IBE’s Summer Celebration has a myriad of activities for individuals of all ages, socioeconomic

backgrounds and interests.

The celebration kicks off at Light of the World Church on Thursday, July 9, with the Ecumenical Service where Bishop T. Garrott Benjamin Jr. is the host pastor.

The week will continue with the Education Conference on Friday, July 17, and the Black Business Conference beginning Monday, July 13 through Friday, July 17 at the Indiana Convention Center. Due to the economy, the registration fee for the Education Conference has been slashed from $99 to $49. Workshops for the Black Business Conference are free.

According to Bell, the Black Business Conference will include workshops and seminars designed to provide businesses with the tools they need during this rough economy.

“It’s important for businesses to learn how to thrive and survive, especially during difficult economic times,” Bell said. “We hope both conferences will help improve the social and economic advancement of African Americans, while bridging the gap between administrators, educators and youth.”

On Friday, July 17, more than 3,000 corporate, community and political leaders will join IBE in honoring the humanitarianism accomplishments of legendary singer/songwriter Charlie Wilson during the Corporate Luncheon presented by Pacers and Sports Entertainment. Wilson, who is a national spokesperson for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, will receive the Rev. Charles Williams Award.

The exhibits at the Indiana Convention Center will also be unveiled on Friday. The new exhibit floor layout will feature colorful display signs, color-coded customer zones and interactive exhibits. It will serve as home to over 600 exhibitors, including the Cultural Arts Pavilion presented by State Farm, the INShape Indiana Black and Minority Health Fair, Kids’ World, IBE Store, IBE History Museum and more.

In an effort to give back to the community, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, IBE will host a Community Day in the convention center. During this time, admission to the convention center will be $3. Individuals will be able to hear live jazz, take a break in between work, peruse exhibits and enjoy convention center activities.

The elegant All-White Party will be held on Friday evening, as well as Stomp Da Yard, IBE’s first-ever step competition for Greek and non-Greeks on July 17.

Teen Bling, the Holla Back Teen Forum and the Amp Harris & Reggie Wayne “Saving Our Youth” Celebrity Basketball Game will once again be held at Conseco Fieldhouse on Saturday, July 18.

Saturday attendees will also enjoy the new Entertainment Hall, which will feature live performances by national recording artists at no additional cost to the exhibit hall. Hall A of the convention center will be transformed into a music stage where “old skool” hip-hop meets classic R&B, neo-soul and contemporary jazz. Performances will include Grammy-nominated R&B crooner, Eric Benet; singer/songwriter Lalah Hathaway; Grammy- nominated female R&B/pop trio SWV; and pioneers of hip-hop, the Sugarhill Gang, Whodini and Doug E. Fresh, as well as jazz musician, Alex Bugnon. The artists for the Gospel Explosion on Sunday will be announced at a later date.

“The current economic climate has been extremely tough on everyone. We hope our new features to Summer Celebration will help alleviate some of the financial pressures for a family and allow them time to relax, have fun and enjoy each other during this trying time,” Bell said.

More than 70,000 people are expected to help close-out the 11-day event on Sunday, July 19, during the highly anticipated, WhiteLies.tv Free Concert featuring Frankie Beverly and Maze and R&B singer Musiq SoulChild.

“Summer Celebration is a community event – it’s a family event. We want to help our community rejoice and forget about the stress of the economy, even if for a moment,” Bell said.

Funds generated from Summer Celebration help support Indiana Black Expo’s operations and year-round youth and family programs. For more information, visit www.indianablackexpo.com or call (317) 925-2702.

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