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Fall Fest is Nov. 16

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Fun, empowerment and a chance to meet stars can all be found during the annual Fall Fest sponsored by The Indianapolis Public Library.

Every year, Fall Fest provides entertaining activities that provide inspiration and cultural awareness.

National recording hip-hop artist, actress and author MC Lyte will be the special guest for this year’s event, which will take place on Nov. 16 in the Clowes Auditorium of The Central Library location, 40 E. St. Clair St.

“This is a great opportunity that the whole family can enjoy,” said Cordia Watkins, who chairs the library’s African-American History Committee, which presents Fall Fest.

Watkins explained the library offers free events throughout the year, but Fall Fest is different in that it is designed to inspire youth and promote their gifts.

While operating under its current format over the last eight years, Fall Fest has brought prominent guests such as poet Maya Angelou, and television judges Glenda Hatchett and Greg Mathis.

“Young people have an opportunity to actually meet people they see doing inspiring things,” said Watkins, who is also circulation supervisor at the library’s Lawrence Branch.

MC Lyte will host a presentation in support of this year’s program theme, “Lyrics of My Life: My Inspirational Song.”

In addition, MC Lyte will also honor winners of the highly anticipated Slammin’ Rhymes Challenge VIII, which provides promising poets in grades 9 to 12 an opportunity to create and share their poetry within the community. Winners will perform their works before the awards segment and group photo with MC Lyte.

“This is a vehicle for the teenagers in our community to come and be heard, and to get or stay motivated,” Watkins said.

Fall Fest 2013 will also feature a performance and workshop presented by WHHH-FM (96.3) hip-hop personality DJ Wrekk 1; along with performances by Christian rap artist WillStomp; spoken word artist and human beat box Tony Styx; ballet, jazz, tap and explosive hip-hop dance group Traci Urban Jamm Dance Studio; and singer and spoken word artist Nedra “Vokull” Sobule.

MC Lyte is a pioneering rap favorite who, in 1988, became the first solo female artist to release a full-length album with “Lyte as a Rock.” She is best known for classics such as “Paper Thin,” “Cha, Cha, Cha,” “Poor Georgie,” “Ruffneck” and “Cold Rock a Party.”

She is also the author of Unstoppable: Igniting the Power to Achieve Your Greatest Potential. Her message of empowerment as a life-altering agent for change is intended to help women of all ages redefine their essence through unity and truth.

Lauren Freeman, a member of the library’s African-American History Committee, said featured guests are selected based on suggestions from the public, along with the needs of Fall Fest. Freeman believes MC Lyte’s style as a presenter is suited for this year’s focus.

“We want people who are positive and can be inspirational,” said Freeman, who also oversees the outreach library, which offers different types of outreach programming and a bookmobile that goes around the city.

“We wanted this year to be interactive and a guest who reflects that,” Freeman said. “We want to interact with the audience and be able to connect with them. Everyone who plans to come out and join us can expect to have a good time while getting motivated.”

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