A free outdoor concert Saturday in Topeka featuring Grammy Award-winning Christian rap and hip-hop artist Lecrae will cap off a day in which 1,500 volunteers will perform community service projects during the 11th annual Sharefest event.
Trip Lee, another Christian hip-hop artist, will appear with Lecrae.
Organizers are hoping for up to 10,000 people to turn out for the concert, which will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at S.W. 8th and Van Buren, on the north side of the Statehouse. S.W. 8th will be closed to traffic for the show.
The concert is sponsored by Topeka-based AIM5 Foundation’s Tell the World Topeka initiative. AIM5 Foundation is a Christian-based organization that focuses on working with vulnerable children, helping churches “get healthier” by working with leaders and “investing in community leaders” at various levels, according to its president, R.D. Cogswell.
Cogswell said the organization saw similarities between itself and Sharefest as both bring together churches of various denominations to benefit the Topeka community.
“Last year was the 10th anniversary of Sharefest,” Cogswell said, “and AIM5 decided we would do an outdoor concert in celebration of that. We brought in Cloverton, and it went over so well we decided we would do it again this year.”
Though Tell the World Topeka and Sharefest remain separate entities, Cogswell said, they are “two like-minded organizations, and we wanted to capitalize on that.”
Saturday night’s concert is open to everyone, and attendees don’t need to have been involved in Sharefest activities earlier in the day.
Saturday will mark Lecrae’s third visit to Topeka in three years.
Lecrae became the first artist in history to have an album simultaneously top the Billboard and gospel album charts. That album, “Anomaly,” was released in September 2014. It was certified gold in 2016 with a combined 500,000 units sold.
Lecrae is co-owner and co-founder of Reach Records. In 2016, he signed a deal in which Reach Records became part of the Columbia Records-Sony Music group.
Lecrae, who is based out of Atlanta, has gained attention far beyond Christian music circles, with appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and articles he has written about race relations appearing in Billboard.
A classic car show also is slated for Saturday afternoon and evening along S. Kansas Avenue in downtown Topeka.
Lee will remain in Topeka to lead a 10 a.m. worship service Sunday at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, 214 S.E. 8th. Doors will open at 9:15 a.m. for the service, which is expected to last about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
A freewill offering at the service will be matched dollar for dollar by the AIM5 Foundation. Donations then will be distributed evenly among the 27 local churches participating in Sharefest.
Contact Phil Anderson at (785) 295-1195 or @Philreports on Twitter. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/philreports.tcj/.