An annual event that began as an outreach for the 1999 PBS mini-series I'll Make Me a World is still going strong in Iowa, and organizers expect it to draw some 20,000 participants Friday and Saturday, reports the Des Moines Register. The celebration of African-American heritage, I'll Make Me a World in Iowa, kicks off Black History Month in the state. At the original gathering in 1999, "the prediction was for 300 people to attend, but 1,000 showed up — and now we’ve grown to 15,000 to 20,000 and become a premier arts and cultural organization offering a world-class event,” said Betty Andrews, the festival's executive director. “It’s a blessing to those of us who work to make this happen, and we hope it’s a blessing to those who come and learn and enjoy.” Headliners this year are actor Shemar Franklin Moore of the CBS drama Criminal Minds, and R&B singer Kenny Lattimore.
I'll Make Me a World was a CPB-backed, six-hour mini-series on African-American artists from Henry Hampton, best known for his acclaimed Eyes on the Prize documentary.