By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 30th annual Celebration of Black Writing festival kicks off in just a few days. It’s 30 days of workshops, cultural events and much more.

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“The Theme is– Celebration of Black Writing,” says Valerie Gay, executive director of Art Sanctuary– the host of the month-long celebration. The events attract thousands of journalists, authors and artists from all over the country and while there is no set theme this year the art will speak for itself.

“What we decided to do was open up our festival and open up Art Sanctuary to our community,” says Gay, “we’ll let the experts and the artists tell us what the theme is.”

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A signature exhibition featured at the Art Sanctuary gallery at 16th and Bainbridge is a collection of photos by John Mosley highlighting the heyday of Chicken Bone Beach, a segregated beach for Blacks in Atlantic City. 

“We’ll have images of Martin Luther King on Chicken Bone beach and Sammy Davis Jr and Joe Lewis and people that come in and say- that’s my grandmother when she was a little girl,” says Gay.

Events run May 1 through 31st. Highlights include a May 3rd outdoor festival, daily and weekend workshops and, of course, the Lifetime Achievement Awards on May 30th. A full list of events is at Art Sanctuary’s website.

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