2019 Artists

"Without Artists There Would Be NO Art!"



Thursday, June 13th 6:00

Oscar Micheaux Black Film Festival


“It is only by presenting those portions of the race in my pictures, in the light and background of their true state, that we can raise our people to greater heights.”


 Oscar Micheaux

Spike Lee Tibute 

American film director, film producer, writer, and actor

The Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts and Ideas's  will pay tribute to Spike Lee.

There will be a screening of his first film, "Do the Right Thing" and "School Daze"

Jamaal Hicks

Entrepreneur, Raper and Documentary Film maker. 

Owner and CEO of Pimpoholic Entertainment: Artist Booking, Event Planning, Reading/Writing/Negotiating Contracts, Legal Consulting, Road Management

There will be an encore screening of his documentary "32".

Harry Smallwood - 

AKA Nate Royal

American comedian, actor, writer, producer, MC/Host,

Film Festival Host for the

 June 13th - 12 Noon Screening of 1972 SuperFly.


Nate lives  in Chattanooga, TN. After his first local open mic performance at the Comedy Catch, he went on to sell out his first headlining show.. He has since worked with Tommy Davidson, Faizon Love, Arnez J and a list of others in St. Louis, Nashville,

Atlanta, South Carolina and North Carolina. Royal continues to dominate the local comedy scene and remains in demand to host concerts and events statewide, including a co-host with America's Next Top Model, Eva Marcille. This versatile comedic talent is best known as creator of "The Harry Smallwood Show, "Talk Show For The Average Joe".  In a late night talk show setting, He casts local guests to provide exposure to positive individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses in the community, by telling their stories and highlighting their success and influence. All combined with the unique 70's era humor and insight of the one and only, too cool,

Harry Smallwood. (Featured on Fox Affiliate WTVC Channel 9). Royal also produces a series called, "Harry in The Streets.' Each episode features Harry visiting and interacting with local entrepreneurs, businesses and events, at their location, and

provides exposure and connection to the local consumer. Other projects currently in production include an upcoming DVD to be filmed in his hometown of Chattanooga, TN, as well as a children's book specifically written to empower and encourage young African American boys.

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Brandalyn Shropshire

 is a humorist, writer and actress. Making people laugh has always been Brandalyn’s passion and she has found much success with her alter egos “Shrop the Cop” and “Ms. Pointsetta”. She believes the number one “violation” in life is that people often do not enjoy the funny side of life. As a humorist she has opened for such artist as comedians Rickey Smiley and Michael J, R&B artist Kem, and renowned saxophonist Angella Christie. She has written, directed, and started in stage plays including her one woman show, “Wont He Do It” and “BrightStar Assisted Living: Not Your Ordinary Nursing Home” under her Production Company BJS Productions.

Now Brandalyn is using her humor, personal insights and positivity to motivate others by addressing professional conferences and conventions.

Brandalyn received her B.A in communications, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Currently she works at her alum mater as the Assistant Director in the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Brandalyn has a wonderful husband, Daniel Shropshire and they are the proud parents of one daughter, Sydney.

The Attic and Love Letters Cast Members

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Vyneeta Lease Farmer

The Attic Cast Member


Zoe Farmer

The Attic Cast Member


Georgette Floyd 

Lover Letters 

Cast member


Marsha Mills

Lover Letters

Cast member


Ayanna Yancey

Love Letters 

Cast Member


Gloria Pogue

The Attic Cast Member


Tongeia Farmer

Lover Letters 

Cast member


Legacy Music Festival

All artist will pay homage to a musical legend. 

"Understanding our roots, as we live in the moment and grow together towards the future."



LaFrederick M. Thirkill Ed.S.

Tribute Nate King Cole

Chattanooga native, LaFrederick Thirkill is a graduate of Chattanooga High School. He earned a B.S. in Music Education from UTC and his M.A. and Ed. S. in Instructional Leadership and Supervision from Tennessee Technological University.

Mr. Thirkill has been acting in the local theaters for 27 years, including the Chattanooga Theatre Centre where he has received multiple awards. He has been featured in many newspaper articles, news stories, magazines, books, documentaries, and research journals, both locally and nationally for his contributions to Education and Community Service. In 2012, he appeared on the NBC Show “Who Do You Think You Are” in an episode with music legend Lionel Richie. He was recently featured on “America Divided” with actor Jussie Smollett. Mr. Thirkill has been recognized as a Distinguished Citizen by Hamilton County and the City of Chattanooga.

Mr. Thirkill serves as the Principal of Orchard Knob Elementary and has been employed by Hamilton County Schools for twenty years and became the first teacher to earn National Board Certification. In 2013, He has been named the Principal of the year by the Hamilton County Education Association; The Tennessee Education Association . He was recently named as the recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Award by the local chapter of the NAACP and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award by the Urban League of Chattanooga for his effects to address racial reconciliation.

Ogya 

World Music Band


Music has always played an integral part in the life of percussionist and singer, Kofi Mawuko, a native of Ghana, West Africa. His entertainment career began at the age of 10 as a member of the Kyirem Children’s Cultural Performing Troupe, which led to tours throughout Africa, Cuba, Europe and Russia. He began teaching in London where his works in music and dance have been publicized in television and movie productions. His musical compositions were selected for production in the first Pan-African Festival and African Emancipation Day in Accra, Ghana. After relocating to USA, Kofi widened his array of percussion talents by performing with jazz, blues, hip-hop, funk, rock and roll, techno/DJs and bluegrass artists around the Southeast. He has recorded studio tracks for and performed solo with Grammy Award-winning artists, and has opened for international known artists, such as Ladysmith Black Mbazo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Ruben Studdard and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Kofi and his wife, Rebekah, are the founders of Mawre & Co., an educational, cultural enrichment and entertainment company, and Ogya World Music Band. Their work in establishing sustainable performance arts programs in the community has garnered recurring contracts and grant awards from local and national agencies.​


Sankofa 

African Drumming & Dance Co.

Sankofa is an Akan word that means, "We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today."

The symbol of Sankofa is that of a bird whose head is faced in the opposite direction of its body. This is emphasising on the fact that even though the bird is advancing, it periodically makes it a point to examine/ return to it's past, since this is the only way for one to have a better future. 

     Tramaine Jones                      Spencer Brewer

 


    Jessica Stinson                     Lana Teko-Ahatefou



2019 Artists

"Without Artists There Would Be NO Arts!"

Tee Bumpass

Tribute to Aretha Franklin


Thomas "Tee" Bumpass is a native of Chattanooga Tn. , lived in Los Angeles for 15 yrs. , worked at Motown Records for 7 yrs. as a producer , songwriter , artist and studio musician working with such artists as : Billy Preston , Streets Wright , Teena Marie , Sammy Davis Jr. and many more .

Tee is back home now in Chattanooga performing various genes of music : Blues , R&B , Jazz & Motown Oldies


C-Grimey

Tribute to Tupac Shakur

C-Grimey is a southern American Hip-Hop artist from Chattanooga Tennessee with a style self described as OG hip-hop, meaning his style has heavy influence from the pioneers of hip-hop as well as the artist from the 'Golden era' of hip-hop. C-Grimey began writing rhymes at the age of 13 when he started converting his poems and short stories into raps. At the age of 16 C-Grimey began to record his songs and started performing live. In 2008 C-Grimey created Goldfinger Production$, a record label and artist development company focused on helping up and coming artist reach the next level in their career. In 2011 C-Grimey released his 1st collection of music 'The Sampler' which sold over 5,000 copies independently hand to hand. 2013 marked the release of 'The Grimey Way' , which was followed by his 2015 of the very well received 'Marvelous Misadventures of C-Grimey' which featured hits like 'Rise & Grind', What Time Is It?' , 'Extra', and 'Turn Down'. In 2017 C-Grimey release his first full streamed album 'Grand Theft Audio' which has had over 100,000 streams world wide on Spotify and features the hit 'Still Grimey" which has over 23,000 views on YouTube. C-Grimey is set to release his next studio album entitled 'NO Carpets' in June 2018. 


Neshawn Calloway​

Tribute to Bessie Smith

Born and raised in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Neshawn Calloway grew up singing and directing choirs in the church. Her formal music training began at 10 years old with piano lessons while also learning to play the clarinet in the middle school band. Upon graduating high school, Neshawn attended Memphis State University, currently the University of Memphis, as a business major. It took a couple of years for her to finally realize she needed to follow her heart and pursue music. She began formal vocal training during her undergraduate years at the University of Memphis. In 1994, she moved to Chattanooga to pursue a master’s degree in Music Education at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Darryl (aka LiL D)

Legacy Music Festival Headliner

Darryl (aka LiL D) is proudly presented by Come Clean Entertainment the talent stable and recording company that originally brought you superstars Usher Raymond and the Nu Beginning.

Darryl (aka LiL D ) has emerged as an industry and a crowd favored boasting an incredible range of musical abilities coupled with a stellar stage performance that mesmerizes audiences everywhere he performs. These God given talents allow him the ability to perform ripping funky tracks, such as his dance floor favorite "Open" as expertly and effortlessly as his performance of the soulful rendition of the popular love ballad "Try."

Darryl performs an eclectic mix of jazz, R&B, and mainstream pop that leaves one with a message of purpose.

Darryl’s music contains all the ingredients of today’s hottest hits but has the added benefits of positive lyrics. Darryl is truly the universal artist every member of the family will love and appreciate. Darryl has greatly benefited from his life long musical experiences and his performances reflects the arduous artist development programs demanded of all performers associated with the Come Clean Entertainment Label.

Darryl has been privileged to headline three national school musical tours and his concert visits are enthusiastically anticipated each year. An artist of extraordinary ability this Universal Records/Come Clean Entertainment national recording artist has performed with such music icons as...The O’Jays, Bobby Womack, Najee, Sammie, N-Toon, Stevie Wonder, the Isley Brothers and many more.

Darryl was also honored to be the featured entertainer at the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament in Connecticut, the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Massachusetts, and Crime Watch of America Conventions in both Florida and Georgia.  

Shades of Poetry Organizers

''The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced them.''

James Baldwin 

Joshua Hubbard

January 15, 2019


Marsha Mills​


Poet, performer, author, spoken word artist, singer, and president of local poetry group, Rhyme N Chatt Interactive Poetry Organization. She is poetically known as "The Poetic Diva". 


Erika Dionne Roberts


Owner/Creator/Artist at Velvet Poetry Productions and works at Creator at Velvet Poetry and Creative Cloud at Poet/Spoken Word Artist/ Creative Writer

Inaugural Gospel Music Festival

Curated and Hosted by Trent Williams

Byron Harvey


Byron Harvey is a native of Nashville , TN. He started singing at the age of 6. Byron is a graduate of the Nashville School of the Arts and holds a B.S. degree in Music from Tennessee State University. While attending high school, he started singing behind Nate Bean and host of other artist. Byron is the co-founder of Inversion Vocal Ensemble, a collective of singers who sing variety of styles ranging from Opera to Gospel. In 2016, he released his debut Ep entitled Millennial Faith I, followed by Millennial Faith II in 2018. Byron has shared the stage with and opened for such artist as Marcus Hummon, Rivers Rutherford, Rudy Currence, Doobie Powell, Israel Houghton, Hezekiah Walker, and many more.

Shawn Bigby


Born and raised in Anderson, SC, Shawn has been a renowned vocalist for years. At the age of 20, he heard God’s call of being a worship leader. Throughout the years, Shawn’s ministry has thrived making room for him to share his musical gift all over the country including London and Japan. Shawn released his first EP #TheSetList Volume 1 in 2014 which is an amazing collection of praise and worship music used by ministries in churches across the globe. The widely acclaimed project entered in at number 27 on the Billboard charts in its first week which for an independent artist without record label representation was rare.

Shawn has been featured both vocally and as a songwriter on several national recording projects such as the hit single “Walking in Favor” featuring Pastor John P. Kee and Zarcardi Cortez. Other major projects include the Anderson University Ensemble’s Live recording “Thank You”, Earnest Pugh’s “Earnestly Yours”, Pastor David Wright & the New York Fellowship Choir “Next Generation”, and Hart Ramsey & the NCC Family Choir “True Story” Project.

Shawn served as Worship Leader at New Life Fellowship in Charlotte, NC for 5 and a half years under one of his musical influences and mentors, Pastor John P. Kee. He toured extensively with Pastor Kee and New Life across the United States and the Country. Currently Shawn is serving as the Creative Arts Director at Right Direction Church International in Columbia, SC under the leadership of Drs. Herbert and Marcia Bailey. It is here that he not only leads worship but has the privilege of mentoring and training rising worship leaders.

Trent Williams


Trent Williams was born and raised in Florida into a family of skilled singers and musicians. His family collectively found a place of refuge and solace in music. As a small child, he directed choirs and amazed church goers as a 10 year old organist. From grade school to college, Trent excelled as an instrumentalist and vocalist. He received a scholarship to study vocal performance/music education at Truett-McConnell University and played in almost every musical ensemble the university offered whether Christian, Jazz, or classical.

Trent spends his his time writing, producing, performing, and teaching music. He has released "Momentum: The Vertical Prelude" which is a precursor to the long awaited "Vertical: The Worship Project." Trent is very passionate about the expansion of his company, Meraki Arts Group, a incubator for faith-based creatives & artists.

Trent is determined to use his gifts to influence a generation one song at a time.

He brings an electrifying and authentic style that creates an unforgettable experience for listeners.

He is featured on various stages across the country. From churches, to classrooms, in the studio, and on stage, Trent seeks to create life altering moments that help others to find their inspiration and purpose.​

Elizabeth Catlett Visual Arts Exhibitions

“I have always wanted my art to service my people – to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential. We have to create an art for liberation and for life.”

Elizabeth Catlett

Shelley L. King

2019 CFBA&I Official Photographer & 

Featured Visual Artist 

Shelley L. King Jr. has been a professional photographer for the past 8 years, but has been around photography his whole life. As a child he was always fascinated by family photos. His fascination continues today as he works to preserve old photos which are the windows into history. Eight years ago, Mr. King established Eskay Jr. Photography, (PEOPLE, PLACES, & THINGS – “Let Me Capture The Essence Of You Through Photography”) As an artist, Shelley strives to use his God given talents with photography to make photo memories that will last for generations. The Kings believe that their work as photo-journalists documenting special places and people around Chattanooga will last longer than their life time. Their passion is preserving the present moment for future generations.

Cecilia King

2019 CFBA&I Official Photographer&

Featured Visual Artist 

Cecilia King, became a learning photographer in 2015 after meeting and being mentored by Shelley l. King Jr. Together they both share ​a passion for street photography, photographing events and structures around the Chattanooga area. After being married to Shelley in 2016 Cecilia found a place for herself as an assistant to her husband and his extraordinary passion and gifted eye for photography and the arts. She is present with him on various photo shoots taking random and interesting photos of people, places and things. she plans to continue her life’s work as a photographer and assistant to her husband who has made a name for his photography as Eskay Jr. Photography.​


Juba Dance Festival

"We weren't pushing Black is beautiful. We just showed it."

Katherine Dunham

E. Devante Williams

 owner of D. Williams Dance Academy

E. Devante Williams is a professional choreographer and dance instructor from Chattanooga, TN. He is the owner of D. Williams Dance Academy, choreographer for CDPAC and Onstage Dance Company (from LifeTime’s newest TV show DanceTwins airing fall 2019), and a hip-hop instructor for various schools around Chattanooga. He has trained with many schools and studios in the art of dance & performance such as: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Chattanooga Ballroom & Dance Center, Ballroom Dance Clubs of Nashville and Atlanta, Dance 411 Studios, and more.

Throughout Mr. Williams’ teaching career, he has had the opportunity to choreograph many

musicals (Tarzan the Musical, The Color Purple, High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast, etc), choreograph for several artists/groups for their live performances and/or music videos, and choreograph countless first place routines for competitive dancers. He focuses on teaching innovative and energetic choreography with an emphasis in precision, articulation, and emotion! Through his teachings, he crafts award winning competition level dancers, prepares his students for a future as professional dancers/performers/entertainers, and builds lifelong relationships with every student to remind them they're not alone in the chase to reach their goals.

Keanu Greenhill

Keanu Greenhill, born in the city of Jackson, TN has been a dancer for 10+ years. He specializes in the art of Memphis Urban ballet. Keanu is a true artist and enjoys anything that involves music. Keanu was a student at university of Tennessee at Chattanooga before he turned his full attention to his creative artwork. Keanu has perform in a wide array of stages to showcase what he calls “Memphis Jookin.” Keanu is versatile in teaching his art form and aims to give children and adults a avenue to express themselves. 



Crystal Newson

Crystal Newson is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has studied and performed with several local dance companies. Her training includes Ballet Tennessee, Center for Creative Arts, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Summer Intensive, and Weave Conceptual Dance Company. During her years as a dance major at Center for Creative Arts she began to develop her love for and skill in choreography. After graduating from CCA, Ms. Newson began her work as a dance instructor and choreographer. Her passion is teaching young people the art, the history, and the appreciation of multiple dance genres, including classical ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and musical theatre style dance. Her goal as a teacher and choreographer is to instill the same sense of dedication, motivation, and professionalism into her students that she, herself, gained from her dance training. Ms. Newson currently serves as a dance instructor and choreographer at Ballet Tennessee and Weave. In addition, she is a frequent guest teacher and choreographer for her alma mater, Center for Creative Arts.

Ryan Roberts

Ryan was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Chattanooga, TN. Ryan found his love of Hip Hop dance at the tender age of 9 years old and has been dancing ever since. To better his Hip Hop skills, he took several dance classes anywhere he could and love to watch live performances from his favorite artists

From 2013-2015 Ryan trained at WEAVE: A Conceptual Dance Company to help shape his Hip Hop style and learn other dance styles.

Ryan now teaches Hip Hop at various dance studios around Chattanooga, and dances with his crew COMMIX. Ryan also preforms at different special events and also Collaborate with local artists on special projects around the Chattanooga are

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION 2019

"I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” 

Harriet Tubman






Young Gifted and Black


Wade Hinton