Fall is here already, and that just opens the door to a bevy of cool and exciting events, attractions and so forth that feed our souls and inspire us to get out and explore all the world has to offer. Following are just a few to get your fall season on the move.


Through Nov. 15

“From the Western Front and Beyond: The Writings of World War One” (New York, N.Y.)

Presented by the New York Society Library in honor of the 100th anniversary of World War I, “From the Western Front and Beyond: The Writings of World War One” offers a glimpse at “the library’s little-known but wide-ranging collection of books written between 1914 and 1918, most of which were acquired during the war and are still in circulation today,” say exhibition organizers. The exhibit encompasses works of poetry, memoirs, literary writings, fiction, propaganda and more, all providing unique first-hand insights into this tumultuous time in our world history.

212-288-6900, www.nysoclib.org

Through Feb. 8, 2015

“Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone” (Minneapolis, Minn.)

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is proud to announce a special exhibition dedicated to the cultural heritage of West African neighbors Liberia and Sierra Leone titled “Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone.” From carved wooden masks and figurines to contemporary textiles, stone sculptures, metalwork, ivory horns and more, the exhibit explores the 500-plus-year history of the artistic production of the Upper Guinea Forest region. The works stem primarily from the private collection of the late William Siegmann, a Minneapolis native and former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum.

612-870-3000, 888-642-2787, http://new.artsmia.org

Through May 15, 2015

“Kingdom of Gold: Photographs of Ghana” (Houston, Texas)

“Kingdom of Gold: Photographs of Ghana” is a vivid photography exhibit that documents the colorful celebration of the entailment of Asantehene Otomfuo Osei Tutu II as ruler of the Ashanti Kingdom, as well as other historic places in several coastal towns in Ghana that hold great significance around the history of slavery.

713-526-1015, http://hmaac.org


Oct. 9-12

National Shrimp Festival (Gulf Shores, Ala.)

The National Shrimp Festival is held where else but the scenic shores of Gulf Shores, Ala. Presented by Zatarain’s, this annual free festival draws some 250,000 shrimp and seafood lovers from throughout the South and further afield to enjoy over 300 arts, crafts and retail vendors, a “Children’s Activity Village,” an outdoor village, musical entertainment and, of course, fantastic food. 251-968-6091, http://myshrimpfest.com

Oct. 11

World Beer Festival (Durham, N.C.)

Hosted by All About Beer magazine, the World Beer Festival—named one of the premier beer events in the country—is a celebration of the positive attributes of the growing beer culture. Activities include crafts, specialty and import beer samples from local, regional, national and global breweries, a variety of seminars and exhibits from nationally recognized beer authors and other activities. This traveling festival will also take place in 2015 in Columbia, S.C. (Jan. 17), Raleigh, N.C. (April), Cleveland, Ohio (June 2015) and again in Durham (October 2015). 919-530-8150, www.worldbeerfestival.com

Oct. 17-18

Annual Goombay Festival (Key West, Fla. )

Held this month in the heart of the historic Bahama Village neighborhood, the annual Goombay Festival promises attendees “music, food and a high-energy celebration of the cultural connection between Key West and the Bahamas.” Steel drum master Toko Irie, Keys “trop rocker” Howard Livingston, the Haitian gospel orchestra Christophiles, the Thunder from Down Under Junkanoos, the Bahama Junkanoo Shakers and roots reggae/dub-hop stars Jahfe are just some few of the amazing performers who will delight the crowd of thousands with Caribbean-influenced entertainment on two stages. African and island arts and crafts, ethnic and multicultural delicacies and more are part of the fun here.

800-LAST-KEY, www.bahamavillagegoombay.com

Oct. 17-19

Silicon Valley African Film Festival (Mountain View, Calif.)

Set in the spectacular Silicon Valley area of California, the fifth annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival is designed to provide audiences with “a lens to the real Africa.” Activities includes a dazzling opening ceremony encompassing a “Parade of Flags,” libation ceremony, live performance by Talisman, Tezkatlipoka Aztec dance company and the Oriki Theater, a proclamation presentation and introduction of filmmakers and then, over the course of the festival, 35 films from 15 countries that provide and promote an understanding and appreciation of Africa and Africans through moving images. 415-774-6787, www.svaff.org

Oct. 24-26

2014 World Creole Music Festival (Dominica, the Caribbean)

Celebrating its 18th anniversary this year, the World Creole Music Festival is billed as one of the island’s top events. Visitors from all around the world flock here each year to enjoy three nights of pulsating rhythms from an impressive lineup of Creole musical acts from all over the Caribbean islands. Featured headliners this year include Tabou Combo, Jah Cure, Denise Belfon, Riple Kay International and Fanatik, among numerous others. Great food and outdoor recreation on this beautiful island is also part of the celebration. 767-448-4833, www.wcmfdominica.com

Oct. 18

Taste of Soul Festival (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Held in Los Angeles along Crenshaw Boulevard between Stocker Street and Rodeo Drive, the ninth annual Taste of Soul Festival is the biggest family festival in the city. This free event promises a bevy of great musical entertainment suitable for the entire family, plus celebrity appearances, fun-filled events, food booths and arts and crafts and other vendors.


Lysa Allman Baldwin is a freelance writer and the publisher and editor of “Amazing Escapades: Adventures for the Mind, Bod and Belly” (www.amazingescapades.com).