‘Unity in the Community Festival’ planned in Monticello

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission invites the public to attend the 2022 Monticello “Unity in the Community Festival” from noon until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 1, at McCloy Park, 178 Henley Drive, Monticello. It is an outdoor event and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.  

Rodney Block

The event is free and open to the public and will include free food at designated vendors, a community vendor showcase, financial literacy, live entertainment, kids’ zone, and a homebuyers’ workshop.  The free concert lineup includes:

  • Willie Brown and Friends, nationally known comedian, and ventriloquist
  • Steven Russell, former lead singer of the award-winning R&B group TROOP
  • Glenn Jones, Grammy nominated recording artist and producer
  • Tony Terry, Legendary Veteran songwriter, and performer

The goal of the festival is to mobilize, inform, and uplift everyday multigenerational citizens in a safe space to achieve new levels of economic empowerment, personal development, wealth creation, civic engagement, and community leadership. The Unity in the Community Festival will also promote unity, education, community service, arts, family, culture, and promoting the “Beloved Community” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mentioned in his writings.   

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission will also honor live music trailblazers who have made an impact on the arts, media, and music culture in Arkansas and even beyond.  The Commission will present MLK Music Trailblazer awards to:

  • Rodney Block, Trumpeter
  • Nikki Parrish, Vocalist
  • Tawanna Campbell, Vocalist
  • Valerisse Bell, Vocalist
  • Marrisee “Mo B” Boyd, Soul Blues Prince and Vocalist
  • Carl Dupins, Media Award
  • Stacy Slater, The Heat Magazine Editor, Media Award
  • Gabe “G” Pace, MLK Music Dream Keepers Award

“The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission is proud to work with the city to host this great event, says DuShun Scarbrough.  There is something for everyone. The goal is to host events that promote volunteerism, economic development, civic engagement in your hometown.  Community programs are a way to curb violence, keeping people engaged. It’s great to travel out of state to support empowerment events and music festivals, but it is greater when those events are happening in your area and free of charge.   It is our goal to build communities through positive, family-friendly events which also inspire and encourage community service and provide something for youth to get involved in which discourages violence.  Music is also a great part of our lives; we are honoring several performing artists to encourage continued support of the arts and live music.”

Program Partners:  City of Monticello, Victory Over Violence, Union Bank, Power 92 Jams, The Praise Network, KOKY.

The mission of the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, a division of the Arkansas Department of Education, is to promote and preserve the life and legacy of Dr. King in our state; and to promote the principles of nonviolence and equality among all citizens.  Our community outreach projects are designed to promote education, an appreciation for history, and to encourage youth to engage in positive leadership development and roles within their communities.