CARMEL — Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration has returned to the Circle City, and fashion took center stage on Sunday.

The 19th annual Walter and Alpha Blackburn Scholarship Fund Fashion Extravaganza took place at the Ritz Charles in Carmel.

Local fashion icon Alpha Blackburn hosts the fashion show. Blackburn’s late husband, Walter, was one of Indiana’s premiere black architects.

“Education that would prepare young people to go into architecture or the arts, things that gave my late husband and me a wonderful lifestyle so that we can be creative and influence the city,” Blackburn said. “To be able to continue that, we have to cultivate younger talent and draw them in.”

During the event, deserving students were presented with scholarships that will help them reach their goals in college or other secondary learning experiences.

“A $10,000 scholarship doesn’t sound like a lot in some circles, but it certainly is a wonderful boost for the terrific recipients of the scholarships,” Blackburn said.

Attendees of the event saw the public debut of handmade crochet designs by 14-year-old twins, Aa’nas and Sanaa Gladney.

“The thing that was lacking when I was growing up was, I didn’t have a mentor to help so it’s always been a defining moment for me to be sure I give back and pull people as I move forward,” Blaine said.

The IBE Summer Celebration runs through June 30. For more information, click here.

For more information on the Walter and Alpha Blackburn Scholarship Fund, click here.

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