Comedian, Desi Banks, will join the Ohio State community as he hosts the 41st annual African American Heritage Festival’s Variety Show this Wednesday at the Ohio Union.
Gaining his popularity from posting comedy skits on Instagram to showcase his humor, Banks sets an example for the students who will showcase their talents at the Variety Show.
Getting Banks for the showcase was a goal the event co-chairs set early on in the planning process.
“One of the main things we liked from last year’s show was having a comedian host it, so when it came to choosing one for this year, I instantly thought of Desi Banks” said co-chair Brandon Boatner, a fourth-year in public affairs.
Co-chair, Raqueal Toran, a fourth-year in strategic communications, said that reaching out to Banks’ team was an exciting experience. After Banks’ manager confirmed he was available for the show, Toran said it encouraged the team’s excitement for the show.
Aside from securing the host, Boatner and Toran had several other responsibilities. Toran said that overall, they were in charge of bringing the entire production to life. With so much to do to prepare, the co-chairs had to use tools to stay ahead.
“Setting a timeline was one of the first things we did and I think that really helped us make sure we were on track with planning and getting everything done that we needed to,” Toran said.
With this year’s Heritage Festival theme being “Uplift: Aspire to Inspire,” the co-chairs sought out talent that would represent this.
“We wanted to make sure the “Uplift” theme was implemented as much as possible in the show,” Boatner said.
This meant going beyond simply saying uplift, but making sure everyone involved in the show had the intent of uplifting Ohio State’s African-American community through their performances, according to Boatner.
Students can expect the show to truly embody its title this year as there will be a variety of acts presented by students.
“I think this year, we have the most diversity in talent that we’ve ever had,” Boatner said.
After preparing for the event since August, the co-chairs are ready to see what their work will finally look like.
“I’m very excited to see the show come together after working on it so hard for so long,” Toran said. “It’s going to be a great show.”