AEDS is the only small business development & lending organization in Minnesota that intentionally harnesses African immigrant and refugee art & cultural assets to drive local economic development, neighborhood revitalization, job creation & regional vibrancy. In 2013, we branded a historically disinvested commercial area in St Paul’s Midway-Hamline neighborhood the “Little Africa Business and Cultural District” to spotlight a natural concentration of African immigrant & refugee-owned businesses that naturally emerged over the past 40 years and draw Minnesotans to experience & support them. The Little Africa Festival & Parade was first offered in 2014 to lift the district, fill gaps in Minnesota’s African art & cultural programs, & provide African immigrant and refugee artists & culture bearers with opportunities to connect with & grow their audiences, mainly lower income & Limited English speaking African immigrant & refugee families with children, & generate income.
2024 Little Africa Festival and Parade
Saint Paul, MN
Grant or Award Received
2024Fiscal Year of Award