Diversity of black culture to shine at Iowa Soul Festival this weekend

Photo by Alan Light
Photo by Alan Light

In the midst of tragedies surrounding black lives nation-wide comes a much-deserved celebration of the dance, music, food and art of Africans and African-Americans in the best way Iowa City knows how — a festival. The Iowa Soul Festival, now in its sixth year, will take over the Iowa City Ped Mall this Saturday with a full day of entertainment.

Soul Fest will begin with the newly added Black Entrepreneurs Roundtable. Dora Miller of KGAN CBS 2 will moderate the panel, which features the executive director of The Dream Center, Fred Newell; CEO and founder of Born Leaders United, Andre Wright; owner of Alfie Beauty Supply, Franki Cooley and co-founder of E’s Gluten-Free Bakery, Kwesi Seals. The entrepreneurial conversation starts at 11 a.m. inside MERGE, former home of The Wedge pizzeria. South of MERGE, at 3 p.m., in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library, authors Eliza David, Gloria Dixon and Rebecca Grant will read from and discuss their works. These readings are another newly-added portion of the festival.

Lovers of soul food can enjoy Culinary Corner between the hours of 12 p.m. and 10 p.m., while art fanatics stroll through the Artist Marketplace between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Weatherdance Fountain stage will host a variety of performances throughout the day, including live music, the All Black Everything fashion show and an Afro-Brazilian carnival performance. Live music from Local on the 8s, Goose Town, Kevin B.F. Burt and The BluPrint Band will command the later half of the afternoon into the evening.

Check out the Iowa City Soul Fest Facebook event page for announcements and their website for a full schedule of events.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »




Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.