Artists, entertainers come together to raise money for historic 100 Men Hall
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - Crowds filled the grounds of the 100 Men D.B.A. Hall in Bay St. Louis over the weekend as a festival was held to raise money for the historic property and celebrate how it came to be.
Artists, poets, performers and more came together for this year’s Booker Fest, which raises money each year for maintenance on 100 Men Hall.
One of the highlights of the weekend events was Sunday’s drag show, which featured dramatic performances for several drag queens.
The building is over 100 years old and has housed historic talent from legendary performers who made soulful impressions on fans in the past.
However, the hall’s executive director Rachel Dangermond says the foundation of the building has a story of its own.
“This was a black energy center, and it was built by four black people,” said Dangermond. “Now it’s been in white hands since 1982. Our mission now is to honor the ancestors who’ve built this place and do more than just help.”
Officials relied on this year’s festival to bring money in for the historic hall, an endeavor that has become even more critical as the pandemic and natural disasters divert money to other causes.
Dangermond said the beauty of the festival is that it allows people to honor their ancestors and raise money while expressing themselves, as well.
“We elevate and celebrate all differences here. Art is the way we tell a story, tell a legacy, a story of self-reliance, just more of a story that’s not being told today,” said Dangermond.
Brenda Blount said she came to Bay St. Louis with her four best friends. For most of the group, it was their first time seeing a drag show and they were delighted over the performance.
“The costumes were amazing. The singing was--everything was great. Especially spending time with them was absolutely wonderful. We’re going to make sure to come back next year,” said Ophelia Abrahams.
More than ten acts performed during the festival.
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