Ford Motor Company returns to New Orleans this July 4 as the exclusive automotive sponsor of the Essence Festival for the 11th consecutive year. In marking the 25th anniversary of this celebration of African American arts and culture, Ford will “Paint the Future Proud,” showcasing the work of African American female visual artists and celebrating art in its many forms. Through its Drive for Your Community program, Ford is donating $20 per test drive to Warriors in Pink to support the fight against breast cancer. Donations will also go to the New Orleans African American Museum and Tom Joyner Foundation to support African American history and culture, as well as to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
To honor the pride, confidence and strength of the African American community, Detroit-based artist Sydney G. James is creating a 22×10-foot mural on canvas presenting the regal power of African American women. This commissioned work will be on display at the Ford booth in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
Ford’s Hot Right Now super-lounge in the Superdome is featuring the “Proud to Be Me” art gallery, with work from British artist Shantell Martin and Atlanta-based artist Melissa Mitchell. Known for her large-scale black-and-white drawings, Martin is creating an installation area integrating the sound system speakers featured in Ford vehicles. Mitchell is bringing her love for vibrant colors, unique shapes and bold dark lines to a digital gallery within the space.
More festival highlights include:
- Music: Ford’s Hot Right Now super-lounge is featuring performances by some of today’s most exciting musical artists — Normani, Jacquees, Elle Varner, Aluna George, Queen Najia and VanJess.
- Panel discussions: Entrepreneur Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar, the Travel Channel’s “Mysterious Island” host Kellee Edwards and visual artists are conducting panel discussions from the Ford stage in the convention center.
- Activation area: Attendees can engage with Ford technology through an immersive virtual reality test drive, sit for a custom caricature, glam up their look with a free lip makeover or pose for a shareable photo in the Mustang freeze frame.
- Giveaways: On Sunday at the Superdome, comedian Loni Love and Dibrie Guerrero, Ford multicultural communications manager, uphold Essence Festival tradition of giving away a brand-new Ford vehicle to one lucky winner.
“The power to positively impact the African American community and share in culture is amazing,” said Guerrero. “There’s no better way to highlight the spirit and beauty of the community than through art at the Essence Festival. Ford is proud to show its continued support for all women who demonstrate strength and leadership in their community.”
Keep up on all the fun Ford and Essence Festival attendees will have by following #MyFordFam and #ESSENCEFest.
To learn more about Ford’s newest products, log on to www.ford.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 196,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.