The 10th annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention begins Friday evening with a free reception and awards ceremony at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Events featuring publishers, comic artists, and artists who encourage youth literacy, creativity, and positive storytelling will continue Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Friday's 6:30 p.m. reception will offer panel discussions and the annual Glyph Comics Awards ceremony.
On Saturday, a Kids' Library Zone from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will give children a chance to take cartoon and animation workshops with Mama Boyz comic-strip creator Jerry Craft among others. Kids can learn how to write their own stories with Archie comic-book writer Alex Simmons. During two workshops, Keita and Saba, two-thirds of the Baba sisters' teenage film-animation team, will teach children how to create their own cartoons at home. Philadelphia artists Aaron Beatty, Kamau Mshale, and Jihan Thomas will teach children how to create their own comic-book heroes and stories.
Professional workshops will be lead by Ray Billingsley, creator of the Curtis comic strip, who will host a drawing workshop and give tips on how to break into the comic-strip field. Philadelphia native Eric Battle, a Marvel and DC Comics artist, will show aspiring comic-book artists how to improve their illustration skills. The day will feature film screenings by Shannon Newby, creator of the syndicated television show Heavy Sedation; Philadelphia native Reggie Byers' Kidz of the King cartoons; and Joe Illidge of Verge Entertainment.
On Sunday, the M'kor- stock festival comes to the M'kor Shalom campus in Cherry Hill, celebrating the spirit of community through arts and music.
Beginning at 11 a.m., the festival will feature a marketplace, and children can enjoy craftmaking activities and entertainment throughout the day. Dave Fiebert of the Segal Puppet Theatre will perform with Larry the Hat Man. Two stages will feature performances by such artists as singing quartet Kneehigh Spunk, cantor Jen Cohen, M'kor Shalom and the Black Baptist Unity Choir, and Izzy and M'kor Children. Jewish musician Rick Recht and folk-rock duo Aztec Two Step will headline the concert.
Proceeds from the festival will be shared with the Gift of Life Donor Program, a local nonprofit specializing in network services for organ and tissue transplants used to help save and enhance lives.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Wayne Ballet Theatre presents
a narrated ballet for children. The performance will include students from the Wayne Ballet & Center for Dance Arts in the new Black Box Theater. The production is suitable for young audiences and families. The Wayne Ballet & Center for Dance Arts offers students the opportunity to perform in a professional production and work with professional dancers and guest artists.