Keri Hilson and My City 4 Ways Culture Festival from Essence and Ford

Over the weekend, Essence and FORD once again joined forces to bring the My City 4 Ways Culture Festival to Houston for its last stopFord brought the festival to White Oak Music Hall, to celebrate the city’s most notable tastemakers, innovators and leaders across music, art, lifestyle, and food. R&B star Keri Hilson celebrated the eve of her birthday with a special performance of some of her classic hits, including “Turning Me On”, “Knock Me Down” and “Pretty Girl Rock” while delicious hors-d’oeuvres circulated the gallery, prepared by One Feisty Chef and Chef James Robinson. Guests also enjoyed a Ford “Ride & Drive” experience, where consumers got the chance to test drive the latest lineup of Ford vehicles, including the Mustang, the all-new 2018 Expedition, and the F-150.

Attendees were also able to shop at the pop-up shops of art influencer Ashely Price, who did a live art installation, entrepreneur and fashion influencer Rich God who had his clothing Made By Rich God on display and for sale. Melissa Butler founder of the Lip Bar also had an interactive Lip Bar experience where she gifted guests with her lipstick. Houston’s very own Kam Franklin sang her heart out while she entertained the crowd with a special performance including a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Women, Do Right Man”.

Top financial advisor Tiffany “Budgetnista” Aliche hosted the festival along with Tai Beauchamp. The Budgetnista announced the Ford’s Driving Her Dreams contest winner, through which Ford awarded Melissa Mitchell of Abeille Creations a two-year lease of a Ford Explorer. To win this contest, Melissa Mitchell beat out 10 other female entrepreneurs who made a pitch at ESSENCE FESTIVAL explaining why getting a Ford Explorer would help their business go further. Congrats to Melissa Mitchell for the big win!