Statement From ESSENCE Communications, Inc. on the Postponement of the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture

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Two weeks ago, we announced plans for the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture„¢ and indicated that we would continue to evaluate the novel coronavirus crisis using all available resources and intelligence towards ensuring our first priority “ the safety and well-being of our Festival-goers and everyone who contributes to making the Festival such a unique experience. As we committed at that time, we have continued to closely monitor the unfolding developments and updated information from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health agencies and our partners in the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana.

Based on developments over the past couple of weeks, including updates from our city and health partners, we are officially announcing that we will move the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture closer to the fall. As we previously indicated, we were already moving forward with identifying and securing alternate dates and will be prepared to announce those shortly. We are excited to share that previously announced talent will remain in our line-up for the postponed dates, and we will honor all tickets sold for prior scheduled performances. Continue to visit www.essencefestival.com for new updates.

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture is a beloved and highly-anticipated time of year in the City of New Orleans, said Mayor LaToya Cantrell, mayor of the City of New Orleans. At the forefront of everything we do, public health and public safety are always our top priorities. With the significant spread of COVID-19, we are taking every precaution in the best interest of our residents, visitors, and all who attend and make ESSENCE the worldwide phenomenon that it is. We look forward to welcoming everyone back “ from near and far “ and express our deepest gratitude to all who are helping our city, state and nation get through this rapidly-evolving crisis.

We greatly appreciate the Essence family for working with the City of New Orleans and Louisiana as we face this ongoing public health crisis, said Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana. We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Essence family and look forward to continuing the celebration later this year.

We also understand that in this time of uncertainty, we are each in search of and need accurate information from trusted sources. So, ESSENCE has assigned an editorial team that is dedicated to producing daily content to educate our community on the coronavirus/COVID-19, its effect on our lives, best practices for prevention and how we can not only survive, but thrive, during this time. This includes a range of topics via articles, video and social content covering news updates, infographics, facts vs. fiction, social distancing coping mechanisms, work from home best practices, financial tips, at-home entertainment options and more. Dozens of content pieces on our dedicated page are now live, and we will be posting more on an ongoing basis. In addition, we have created the ESSENCE of the Matter: COVID-19s Impact on Black America digital series, which will include live online experiences that promote physical, mental, emotional, occupational, financial and entrepreneurial well-being during this unprecedented time. The series will kick off on Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1 with our first-ever virtual ESSENCE Wellness House„¢.

Much continues to change regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic daily, and we continue to wish everyone health and safety for themselves, their families and their communities. As always, we appreciate your support and look forward to being together again soon. ESSENCE will continue to provide updates to our valued community regarding any new developments.

Aisha Becker-Burrowes, ESSENCE

(929)322-2917

[email protected]

Sheila Harris, ESSENCE

(929)298-6403

[email protected]