By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A South Philadelphia non-profit that brings art to underserved communities is gearing up for its 30-day Celebration of Black Writing Festival and the event kicks off in less than a week.

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Art Sanctuary will bring artists, performers and writers from across the country to showcase Black art, with a focus on writing.

“We bring the pinnacle of art experiences to all of our community.”

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Valerie Gay, executive director of Art Sanctuary. (credit: Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio)

Valerie Gay, executive director of Art Sanctuary.
(credit: Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio)

Executive director Valerie Gay says the nearly dozen individuals events are either free or low cost and range from art exhibits to story telling circles to talent shows to hop operas, as well as a day long conference with, “Writing workshops, artist presentations, films, opportunities for children and adults and everyone in between to have hands on experiences soup to nuts.”

This festival is their premiere event, attracting artists and writers from all over the country, including renowned painter Barkley Hendricks.

“He became famous for taking Black culture in urban Philadelphia in the 70’s and portraying it in an artistic way, a realistic way and putting it up on the walls.”

Highlights include an exhibition of photographs by Hendricks and the Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring Kindred the Family Soul.

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For a full list of events, go to: