“My City 4 Ways showcases local talent. We’re in DC today! There’s some wonderful local talent that maybe don’t get the spot-light. This is a great way to give that spot light to them.” -Loni Love
Just a few weeks ahead of the 23rd ANNUAL Essence Festival, the legendary magazine collaborated with Ford Motor Company to present, “My City 4 Ways.” [click here] Held at Washington, D.C.’s Longview Art Gallery, and hosted by comedian/”The Real” co-host, Loni Love.
The event helped to showcase local talent, who’d otherwise be overlooked in the areas of FOOD, MUSIC, ART, and STYLE. However for most that we spoke to, it was more than your normal showcase. They described it as a cultural hub filled with laughter, good food, wine, networking, and priceless insight from a few a-listers.
It was truly a SUNDAY night well spent!
Attendees were also able to test drive a newer FORD vehicle, shop from local boutique owner Nikki Barnes, while also receiving beauty tips, and waiting on a performance by r&b legend Ginuwine [who by the way, had the ladies in quite an uproar!]
On the relationship between ESSENCE and Ford Motor Company, Cori Murray [ESSENCE Entertainment Director] stated:
“Ford’s one of the biggest sponsors. We have a long history with them, a long relationship. So we wanted to elevate the expansion of what we do with them. They came up with this idea of, ‘My City 4 Ways’ which is sort of like a road to Essence Festival and expand all those unique cultures. “
Not everyone has the ability to experience the unique culture of New Orleans [where the festival is held every year], so we thought is was phenomenal that the magazine decided to shed light on the culture which surrounds those individuals daily. While also forging those business relationships that have the potential to be life long! Which happens to be one of the many reasons why celebrity Ty Hunter said that it was so important for him to be apart of such an event!
Ty who began his journey at a BeBe retail store, credits Tina Lawson [Beyonce’ mother] for believing in him enough to see potential when he didn’t fully see it. While also stating that, his participation in ESSENCE festival this year will bring his career into full circle.
“My whole journey in fashion started with Diana Ross. So it’s coming in full circle for me. I might cry.”
While most are excited to see the Xscape reunion, similar to Ty Hunter, DIANA ROSS’ performance on Friday, June 30th is the one we’re most enthusiastic to catch.
There will be various performances throughout the entire weekend! Some include: John Legend, India Arie, Kelly Price, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Monic, Jhene Aiko, Michel’le, Chance The Rapper, Solange, and SO MANY MORE.
Still haven’t purchased tickets: [Click Here]
Founded in 1968 and first published May, 1970, how is this African American centered women’s magazine able to withstand the constant changes? So we asked Cori Murray, whose worked for ESSENCE for over a decade this exact question, as well as her take on any drastic changes and she stated:
“Digital presence is so huge. I was just speaking with a young lady here and she was like, ‘Oh, magazine like this don’t exist anymore.’ And I told her that some of those magazine are no longer around because publishing is changing. We’re taking a stance, like with My City 4Ways. We’re expanding Essence Fest with more LIVE events like this one going into the 23rd year. All of that stuff is good because it keeps you new. Things change and you must evolve and adapt too.”
Overall, this was such an AMAZING event filled with creatives and lovers of all things food, style, music, arts!
ESSENCE Festival 2017 takes place June 29th- July 2nd in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tickets are available by clicking here!
Check out our exclusive interview footage above.