P. Saingbey K. Woodtor
P. “Patrick” Saingbey K. Woodtor is the founder, president and executive director of the not-for-profit Africa International House USA, Inc. and executive producer of the Annual African Festival of the Arts (AFA). 2018 is the AFA’s 29th year – drawing over 200,000 attendees from across the globe to Chicago for the four-day celebration of the African Diaspora.
Born and raised in Sanoyea, Liberia, Woodtor’s educational and professional background is in Economics (B.A. – University of Liberia) and Transportation (MST – Northwestern University). Before relocating to Chicago in 1982, Woodtor held leadership positions in Monrovia’s National Budget Bureau, Ministry of Public Works, the Monrovia Transit Authority, and the Liberian Wood Management Corporation, among others in Liberia.
A prominent Chicago business leader, WGN-TV’s Minority Business Report has named Woodtor on several occasions ‘Minority Businessman of the Week’. Additionally, Woodtor’s commitment to the arts, culture, heritage and African tourism has spanned decades. In 1989, he co-founded (with his late Wife, Dr. Delores “Dee” Parmer Woodtor) and served as Executive Producer for the first African Festival of the Arts in Chicago and, in 1995, he began his tenure as head of Africa International House USA, Inc. Woodtor has received many public Awards including “Award for Art & Culture” (Richard M. Daley – 2003); “African Man of the Year” (United African Organization – 2004); “Opening The Door to New Beginnings” (Executive Leadership Council – 2006) “Dedication & Success” (National Association of Market Developers - 2004); “Contribution in the Success of the Awareness Task Force” (AT&T – 1991); just to name a few.
His efforts on behalf of African arts have been chronicled in dozens of publications and news media including Afrique News Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, N’Digo, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Defender, The Chicago Reader, WVON/Radio, WBEZ/Radio, ABC 7-TV, WGN-TV. WTTW-TV, and more.