Huetiful Celebration brings West End together to celebrate the Black community

by Kia O. Moore

The Huetiful Celebration will take over the Historic West End on Saturday, July 18. It will celebrate the Black community in all of its beautiful hues. It is an event designed to allow Historic West End communities to stand in solidarity against racial injustice. Community members can decorate their home, driveway, or sidewalk with messages showing support for the Black community. Participating businesses will host community art projects and live music. There will also be Black-owned food trucks and vendors out and about in the community. Not only will there be activities to support the Black community, businesses are also selling products to benefit the local black community too. T-shirt sales at the event, Town Brewing’s “Many Faces” beer release, and Blue Blaze Brewing’s Hueitful Black Lager beer will give proceeds to support the black community.

The idea for starting the Huetiful Celebration started from raw emotion of reacting to the racial injustices in the headlines and the murmurs of creating a special beer to benefit the community that is experiencing these injustices first-hand. KaTonya Wilson, Vice President of the Wesley Heights Community Board Association, came to the neighborhood association presenting an idea to react to the deaths of George Floyd and  Breonna Taylor. Wilson said that as a neighborhood she did not want to sit back and do nothing in response to what is happening around the nation as a result of these deaths. When Wilson attended the neighborhood meeting as usual, she came with the intention of brainstorming an idea of doing something to respond to the current racial injustice sweeping the headlines. At that meeting, fellow board member and Secretary Caitlin Biggers alerted the team of a possible collaboration with a local brewery that wanted to respond to the racial injustice. From that conversation the idea began to bubble about ways in which the neighborhood could get involved in this mission of standing against racial injustice and in solidarity with the Black community.

From that moment, the Wesley Heights team jumped into action. They knew they needed to pull together a name for the event, a logo, and build collaborations in the community. The name was a play on the word “hues” and “beautiful”. Since the Black community has members made up of a wide range of brown hues, and the event wanted to express how beautiful this diversity is, the word “Huetiful” came to the surface. Once they had the name and the mission for the celebration solidified, Wesley Heights turned to the digital marketing agency Union for a logo. 

Two versions of the logo won out. Both logos use the shape of a flower and the decoration of the patels celebrated Black culture. One has African print in black and white. The other logo has the patels in many shades of brown, surrounded by white circles. The logos showcase the unity and solidarity with the Black community.

Once the logo was in place the Wesley Heights team started drafting communication to get the word out about how to participate in the Huetiful Celebration. The West End communities currently participating in the celebration are Wesley Height, Biddleville/Smallwood, and Lincoln Heights. For Wesley Heights the celebration will be more of an art crawl where neighbors can meander through the neighborhood and interact with community arts projects, live music, and take in the sights of the decorated houses. For Lincoln Heights the celebration will be more of a community dinner. However, the beauty of the Huetiful Celebration is that you can join in and participate in supporting the black community in how you see fit. You just need to notify the team organizing the event that you plan to participate. Businesses that want to take part can submit their ideas to the event team by filling out the Google Form before Monday, July 6. If you have questions or want to volunteer at the event reach out to wesleyheightscommunity@gmail.com.

To stay up to date on all things Huetiful Celebration head to the Facebook Event Page. They will be updating it with the businesses participating and the other activities that will be happening at the celebration.