CINCINNATI -- When an estimated 10,000 visitors come Downtown for the 2016 NAACP Convention July 16-20, an array of regional music, food and artistic offerings will greet them each day on Fountain Square.
“This is our chance to engage with cultures on a national and world stage,” said Jason Dunn, vice president of multicultural and community development for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Cincinnati USA spent the past year creating the six-day entertainment lineup, which includes local musicians such as sister-trio RÉA, world-fusion group Baoku Moses and soul/folk singer Ingrid Woode and the Woode Tribe Orchestra. Performances by nationally known R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn and singer ThEE' Oracle, along with a gospel night, international festival, day parties, the Cincinnati Black Theatre Company and the Urban Market Exchange, round out the schedule of festivities.
“There will be different food to try and spoken word as well,” said Randie Adam, vice president of marketing and visitor services for Cincinnati USA. "There is a very wide variety of entertainment. We are trying to entertain (out-of-town) attendees and locals.”
The lineup of mostly free entertainment is part of Vibe Cincinnati, an initiative Cincinnati USA launched in June to bring together the local arts scene and the conferences that come to Cincinnati throughout the year.
“We have connected conventions with local entertainment in the past,” Adam said. “We are just making a more established platform.”
Dunn said July was the perfect time for Cincinnati USA to launch Vibe.
“You have four solid weeks of multicultural entertainment,” he said.
Under the Vibe Cincinnati banner, the tourism bureau also created events for attendees of the Church of God in Christ International AIM Convention, held July 4-7 in Cincinnati.
Vibe Cincinnati also will help launch Cincy Soul: the Black Taste of Cincinnati on July 23 during Cincinnati Music Festival weekend. The R&B and soul music festival, now in its 54th year, is expected to bring an estimated 50,000 people to Paul Brown Stadium from July 21-23.
Adam said after this month ends, Vibe Cincinnati will continue to showcase local musical acts and arts for out-of-town guests. Cincinnati USA is already working on an entertainment lineup for next year’s National Baptist Convention, USA and the International Leadership Conference of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
“It’s just a great way to bring our visitors and locals together,” she said.
Here's the schedule of Vibe Cincinnati events during the NAACP Convention. (All are free except where noted.)
- 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Soulful Sounds with ThEE´ Oracle and Third EyE, and various local and regional performers at Fountain Square
- 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.: Urban Market Exchange with food, retail and crafts at Fountain Square
- 7:10-10 p.m.: NAACP Night at Great American Ball Park with the Cincinnati Reds (tickets required)
- Noon-4 p.m.: Day Party on the Square with Natural Progression and DJ Vader Mixx
- 5:30-7 p.m.: Cincy International Fest with DJ Nate the Great on Fountain Square
- 8:30-11 p.m.: Raheem DeVaughn outdoor concert at Fountain Square
- Noon-7 p.m.: Urban Market Exchange on Fountain Square
- 4-7 p.m.: Live gospel on Fountain Square
- 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: The Flow at FSQ with FAOXII and various local and regional performers and artists at Fountain Square
- 7-9 p.m.: Ingrid Woode and the Woode Tribe Orchestra at Fountain Square
- 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.: Urban Market Exchange on Fountain Square
- 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Soulful Sounds with REA, Cincinnati Black Theatre Company and Baoku Moses on Fountain Square
- 7-9 p.m.: Performance by Special
- 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Rhythmic Sounds with Deuces Musik and various local and regional performers and acts
- 7-10 p.m.: Reggae Live
Vibe Cincinnati also has planned free entertainment during Cincinnati Music Festival weekend. For more information, visit cincyusa.com/vibe.