2019 Crossroad Festival
Dates: Friday-Sunday, March 1-3
The 2019 Crossroad Festival is a three-day, multi-program event exploring Jefferson County and Southeast Arkansas’s cultural heritage through the interpretive lens of story, music, foodways, and film. Each year, the festival highlights different cultural groups who have made a lasting impact on the history, culture, and traditions of Southeast Arkansas.
A focus on the African American community of the area and their history and heritage reoccurs each year. The 2019 Crossroad Festival will feature programming on the African American, French (cross-state cultural dissemination) and Chinese immigrants’ (currently referred to as Delta Chinese) regional cultural heritage.
The festival is FREE and open to the public.
friday, march 1, 7-9 p.m.
Tricksters, Tall Tales, and Blues Notes
The Greater Jefferson County area includes some of the most poignant and expansive repositories of African American folklore and folk music in Arkansas and the Delta region. Few places can boast of the folk traditions documented, interpreted, or developed by luminaries with area roots or connections such as Dr. Julius Lester, Dr. Richard Dorson, Drs. John and Alan Lomax, Hudie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, “Big” Bill Broonzy, Jerry Jones, and J. Mayo Williams.
The Arts & Science Center will present a night of lore, music, and interpretation which highlights the powerful folklore and music sounds emanating from African American culture with Greater Jefferson County ties.
Jimmy Cunningham, Executive Director of the Delta Rhythm & Blues Bayous Alliance, writes and directs this program featuring regional actors and musicians. The event will take place in ASC’s Bellamy Theatre.
Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Family Folklore & Foodways
Saturday will feature two family programs. In the morning, Heritage Studies and Living History Interpretation scholar Dr. Elista Istre will facilitate a family storytelling, hands-on program on the slave experience through the French Creole stories of Compère Lapin and their cultural iterations in Southeast Arkansas. The program will include a character mask arts and craft activity.
In the afternoon, Dr. Istre, Food Studies and Material Culture scholar Kevin Kim, and Jimmy Cunningham will expand the festival theme of cultural diffusion and adaption by co-presenting a program on the intersection of Chinese immigrant, French, and African American folk narrative through co-presentation and foodways demo.
Sunday, March 3, 1-3 p.m.
The Adventures of Brer Rabbit and Q&A with Byron Vaughns
Special guest will be Pine Bluff native Byron Vaughns, award-winning animator and director of the 2006 animated film The Adventures of Brer Rabbit. A screening of the film will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a Q & A session with Vaughns.