Minnesota’s New Griots Festival began this week.

Created in 2015 by playwright Josh Wilder and director-playwright Jamil Jude, the New Griots Festival seeks to celebrate black arts and to support rising black artists.

The first New Griots Festival was held in 2015. Unfortunately, last year there was no festival. But his year’s festival is set to be larger, longer, more dynamic and more prestigious and will be held at Minneapolis' historic Guthrie Theater.

This year the festival will include several performances and community classes taught by artists from the Twin Cities.

Performances you should consider checking out include, “Viva: BLACK,” a one-woman show by Vie Boheme set to include a variety of performed arts, “The Black Woman Press Conference: Dear Everybody Who Ain’t A Black Woman,” a reading of selected poems from author April Gibson, and “The Minority Report,” a show that plays with improv and sketch comedy.

Each performance and class is an hour-long.

The performances cost $9 to enter and will take place on the ninth floor of the Guthrie as part of an ongoing series called the Level 9 Initiative. If you buy tickets for three performances, you can see the rest for free.

Making the festival even better is the fact that all the artist-taught classes are completely free!

The Griots Festival runs from July 6 to July 16. Go check it out if you get the chance. Here’s the complete schedule.