The UNITY FEST 2018 @ DALLAS’ HISTORIC FAIR PARK
Looking for something fun and innovative to do this weekend? The Unity Fest and all of it’s wonderful festivities is definitely an event you don’t want to miss. DFW’s own Jiles King has organized an event that will be talked about for weeks to come and looked forward to for years.
Dallas, TX…Bridging the gap between community, arts and business is the mission of Unity Fest 2018! The two-day multi-faceted celebration will take place on February 10th and 11th from 10 am to 5 pm at the African American Museum located inside Dallas’ historic Fair Park at 1010 First Avenue, Dallas, 75210. This event is free and open to the public!
Unity Fest empowers the community by bringing friends, families and neighbors together through business, education and the arts. The festival is comprised of health screenings, live entertainment, kids/teenfest and small business vendors. Attendees enjoy a full weekend featuring national and local musical artists, free health and wellness screenings, small business vendors offering hundreds of various products and services, and students (K-12) will be able to take advantage of a series of robust and interactive S.T.E.A.M workshops in the education pavilion! Unity Fest Executive Producer Jiles King says providing this caliber of community centric event is critical to the City of Dallas as well as the communities of the Southern sector of the city. “Unity Fest is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for members of Dallas’ most underserved communities to come out and get life-saving medical screenings and other health services. It’s also a time for the youth in these same areas to gain exposure to teaching fundamentals and practices to which they might not otherwise have access and aspiring or established entrepreneurs to discover new business services, tools and opportunities. Two incredible nights of musical entertainment, some hip-hop for the kids and R&B and Gospel for the adults, provides a well-rounded, enjoyable, family friendly experience for everyone!”
The 2018 event is expected to draw thousands of visitors over the two day celebration. Currently, producers are offering sponsorship packages including Title Sponsorship rights, Main Stage, HealthFest and KidFest. Local and national businesses are encouraged to support Unity Fest and establish their presence at what is certain to be one of the city’s premiere events for years to come! “We are very grateful to the businesses that partner with us to present the festival,” continues King. “Without the generosity of local medical partners, we would not be able to provide $4000 colon cancer screenings. Aids screenings, breast cancer screenings, vital information about individuals’ health concerns will be provided. There will also be vendors with game changing business advice, networking opportunities, the benefits just go on and on. We encourage any business of any size to join us, get in front of literally tens of thousands of people from Dallas and surrounding areas and make a difference!”
Unityfest, powered by the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, is presented in partnership with It’s So Real Entertainment, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to youth arts and education
Want a little more detailed information about the event or do you simply have the desire to know a little more about the man behind the magic? Then continue reading, we had the honor to interview the intriguing Mr. Jiles King himself.
DGC: Hi, how are you?
Jiles King: Hello I’m fine thank you… How are you?
DGC: I am awesome… Thank you. Excited about this big weekend you have coming up. I’ve heard so much about it and you… Tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
Jiles King: I am originally from Dallas, I grew up in [the] Pleasant Grove area. I went to Town View Magnet Center,[laughter] years ago. I am a graduate of Morehouse College and then[I] did grad school at Columbia University in New York. I’ve been back in Dallas for,,,WOW… It’s been five years.[From New York]. I’ve been producing art in various forms across the city and across the country, really. I’ve also produce small-scale and large-scale events for the community.
DGC: That’s a very interesting resume. You mentioned community events, I’m assuming the community, would be somewhat like the one you putting on this weekend?
Jiles King: YES! You’re absolutely right only this is bigger and better. This community event actually it’s a “Unity Fest”. This is an event that I felt the community could definitely benefit from. There will be screenings, vendors, activities and excitement galore. We are not just providing the community with an opportunity to attend the event, but also providing the participating vendors with an opportunity to be in front of patrons that may not be exposed to their businesses. On top of great vendors, we are providing educational resources and of course some great entertainment.
DGC: Something that benefits the community is always great to ignite unity. What a perfect name for the event. You mentioned entertainment who do you have in your lineup?
Jiles King: We are using a lot of local artist, a lot of people have events like this and then they go very very large, but we wanted to pull it down and give the local artists a chance to brand themselves and showcase their talents. Saturday is R & B Day and of course Sunday is Gospel Day. So on the R&B stage we have Brandon Kareem and Deon Q both are very known in the city. They’ve performed at the Academy and several other local major places before. For the gospel lineup we have one national artists that happen to be in town and that is, Khare’ Hawkins. We also have Eric Birdine, Noris J, and several other local artists, that are doing extraordinarily well for themselves and have a story to tell to the celebration of gospel. Everyone in attendance will be bless and in store for a full day of celebration.
DGC: That certainly sounds like a tremendous lineup…
Jiles King: Yes it is… This Saturday and Sunday will both be exceptionally full.
DGC: It’s clear you’re not a novice to this… What are some of the other events you’ve done in the past?
Jiles King: I was the production manager for the recent Riverfront Jazz Festival that happened this past Labor Day. I was the associate producer for An Evening with Ruby Dee that took place at the Apollo theater in New York. That was actually Ms. Ruby Dee’s last public performance before she passed away.
DGC: Oh wow how extraordinary was that!
Jiles King: Yes that was amazing…. She was an incredible woman. I also produce The Erma P. Hall, Black Theater Awards. We are also on our third year.
DGC: With all of the expected I’s dotted T’s crossed, I know that things sometimes happen that are out of your control at the last minute. To add a little humor, what is one of the craziest things that has ever happened during an event and how did you recover?
Jiles King: (laughter) oh goodness… let’s see… Let’s see… Let’s see oh PERFECT… So Last years Erma P Hall Awards the vendor did not bring the table cloths, that we had approved… Talked about… Discussed… So at the last minute…. keep in mind it was a sitdown dinner… My staff went to Walmart and we bought out all of the tablecloths at Walmart literally right before the doors opened. We are throwing tablecloth on tables left and right…. I was mortified…
DGC: Yikes… You definitely saved the dinner with your quick effective thinking…
Jiles King: Yes I did… It ultimately went off without a cinch, no one knew anything. But it was a scary feeling to be there close to the edge.
DGC: I can only imagine… What a weekend… So tell me do you have any other projects in the future?
Jiles King: Right now I actually have a show…[I also direct theater as well] I have a show called Detroit 67 that is happening at The Jubilee Theater in Fort Worth. The production is about The Detroit Riots of 1967. It’s a beautiful show I think.
DGC: I’m sure that’s a sellout crowd every night…
Jiles King: It’s doing very well actually… But the more the merrier… It runs until February 25… Thursdays through Sunday and again, it’s at the Jubilee theater in downtown Fort Worth. We recently directed and produced a show called Gospel Hallelujah. That is a trip through the birth and continuation of gospel music through song. It takes you from gospel in the cotton field i.e. slavery up to the gospel of today. We have three national recording artists that are in that show. We have Angela Blair, Jaquoi Griffin, and Nyeshia Hollins.
DGC: That is a very busy schedule and what I noticed is you’ve given a lot of opportunity to your hometown locals. What does providing this platform for them mean to you?
Jiles King: I’ve worked with a lot of the locals and I definitely see the “big name” artists come in get on the ticket perform and leave out. But these artists are here committed to the community so I like to give back to those that are working in the community, and create opportunity for those from the community to make things happen. That’s why my focus is truly working with local artists. I’ve worked with national artists as well, all across the country… Truly all across the world… I was just in Ghana working with artists. But like I said my heart is truly with the locals.
DGC: I think that is awesome and definitely reciprocity… Well the next couple questions will close the interview…. There is no way that I can end, without asking you where you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Jiles King: in 10 years I plan to have a fully functional company that is producing events… Producing art… As well as launching a magazine, actually I didn’t mention that we are launching a magazine this summer that is “arts based.” I would have that [ arts base magazine ] as a marketing arm that is able to market for the small artists and the small arts organizations. I wanted to create a nucleus or a home for all of those things under one roof because they all work together.
DGC: Congratulations to you on that effort I’m sure with your commitment, dedication, and consistency in 10 years you will have all of that and more. My last question is there anything specific that you’d like to say or mention to anyone that will be attending the event this weekend.
Jiles King: I want to mention two organizations… One is The Harvest Project and the other is Builders of Hope.. Both of these companies are providing free produce and fruit as well as free nonperishable items for the community on both Saturday and Sunday. Anyone who shows up will receive a recyclable bag and take as much free produce and fruit as they want.
DGC: Wow… I’m sure people will be excited to not only receive all of the free produce and fruit but to participate in all the festivities… Thank you… I’m sure everything is going to be absolutely wonderful.
Jiles King: No thank you for the opportunity to share the information… This was a great interview
DGC: you are most welcome… Look forward to chatting with you again on your next event keep us posted.
Jiles King: I most certainly will…