The festival will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.By Lisa Washington

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Happening this weekend is the first of a four-part series highlighting African design, style, beauty and culture.

Demeatria Boccella is the festival producer of Festival Africana.

“I’m bringing Africa to Pittsburgh,” Boccella told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.

Boccella says the idea was born after she connected with a Parisian curator.

“Once we got to know one another, we realized that our missions were aligned, as it relates to elevating Black creatives, elevating and supporting Black creatives. I said the only difference is we live on different continents,” Boccella added.

The two initially planned to create a project in Pittsburgh, celebrating the diversity of the African diaspora, but were forced to pivot to a virtual festival because of the pandemic.

“We’re hoping that during these difficult times this will be a moment of encouragement, a moment of inspiration,” said Boccella.

The festival includes a fashion editorial produced in Ghana, a showcase of African accessories, home décor and a concert — an event Boccella describes as timely and necessary.

She added, “It’s so important on so many levels…because it is about equity. It is empowerment. It’s about celebrating who we are as people of African descent.”

There are plans for an in-person exhibition in Pittsburgh in the fall of 2021.

To register for the virtual Festival Africana event Oct. 17 and 18, click here.

Lisa Washington

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