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Colorado Celebration of African American Arts and Culture

Origins 2016

Colorado Black Arts Festival

City Park West Denver Colorado

Latitude: 39°44'45.02"N


                                       Festival information

Colorado Black Arts Festival proudly presents its 30th annual celebration of art and culture of the African diaspora. A Colorado experience like no other takes place July 8 -10, 2016 in historic Denver City Park West. This event is FREE and open to the public

Festival Hours:

 Friday, July 8, 2015 12:00am - 8:00pm
 Saturday, July 9, 2015 10:00am - 8:00pm
 Sunday, July 10, 2015 10:00am - 8:00pm


Parking is available in the park and in the blocks surrounding the West end of City Park with the three main gates at 17th and City Park Esplanade, 21st and York, and next to the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument. Please observe all City of Denver rules and regulations regarding vehicle parking. Be kind to the neighborhood residents and not block driveways or alleyways. Vehicles are not allowed to double park, park in restricted/reserved areas or curbs with yellow paint. Vehicles not following these rules will be subject to tow.
Handicap parking will be limited inside the park and only cars with handicap license plates and placards will be allowed in designated handicap parking areas.
Public transportation is encouraged as we are a green festival. There will be bike racks provided close to the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument gate. There is B-cycle bikes for patrons to rent at the Museum of Nature & Science.


ATM’s will be located on festival grounds for your convenience.


Pets-Please be kind to your pets and leave them at home when you visit the Colorado Black Arts Festival. ONLY service dogs are allowed as long as they have identification as a helper. Pets will not be allowed due to the heat, large crowds, and noise levels. Also, for the safety your pet and festival patrons.

Portable toilets will be available near the 17th Ave and MLK gates.
CBAF information booth will be located next to the centrally located at the 17th Ave entrance. This is also the start point for the scavenger hunt. Pick up your form and let the hunt begin-you may win a prize!

First  Aid

First Aide will be located West of the Kuumba Main Stage in the Health Highway Pavilion.

Festival rules……

No glass bottles or containers are allowed in the park.
No distribution or selling of items is allowed on festival grounds by anyone other than registered vendors/sponsors.
No coolers are allowed to be brought into the event. Support food vendors and CBAF beverage stations.
No smoking is allowed inside the tents or in any seating area on the festival grounds.
No riding of bicycles, skateboards or use of roller blades on festival grounds for the safety of festival patrons.
All packages are subject to search.
No photos or video of artwork without attendant’s permission.

Beverages in glass or bottles are not allowed in the park. Please patronize CBAF beverage stations. All sales help support your community event and non-profit vending partners.
Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought into the festival and beer bought at the festival is NOT allowed to be taken out the gates. Denver Police will strictly enforce this policy.

The Colorado Black Arts Festival reserves the right to decline admittance to anyone who violates the rules established for public safety.
Lost children and lost and found will be located at the information booth. If you have a lost child(ren), ask any CBAF volunteer, staff or Denver Police Officer for assistance.

                    Admission to the Colorado Black Arts Festival is FREE.

There is a favorite saying among the Tswana and Sotho tribes of Southern Africa which was also a favorite of the President of South Africa Mr Nelson Mandela; Ke nako meaning: it is time and indeed it is summer time and Ke nako ya Colorado Black Arts Festival  Origins 2016 from Friday July the 8th to Sunday July the 10th.

The festival is a wholesome all American family oriented event right after we celebrate the good old 4th of July whose cholesterol and sauces still run in our veins.  So come all, young and old and enjoy the sights and sounds of the parade, bands, art, music and a whole lot more…  The Festival will take place at Denver City Park West. See you there. Remember the theme is Rock Steady 2015. ke nako…

The Festival 2016 team is ready to present a visual feast of color, movement and pageantry. Two dynamic stages will present music that includes jazz, blues, soul, gospel, hip-hop, reggae, world beat, and traditional African. Dance performances will include African drum and dance, modern, praise and interpretive dance. Noted African American visual artists as well as emerging artists will showcase their work in the mediums of paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, glass, carvings, fiber, and more.
Other Festival 2015 attractions include the popular Boogaloo Celebration Parade, “Watu Sokoni” (People’s Marketplace), Children’s Pavilion for Art and Learning, Joda Village Compound, Art Garden, Health Highway Pavilion, House II House (DJ’s), Scavenger Hunt, Community Drum Circle, Food Court, and ‘Old Skool’ Car Club Exhibition and the return of the Joda Village Compound.
As one of the nation’s pre-eminent presenters of arts and culture of the African American and African diaspora, this green and affordable event is expected to attract more than 54,000 attendees from Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Region and beyond. The Festival has attracted artist and attendees from around the world, yet this friendly and warm event has maintained the sense of community that it inspires. Colorado residents of all cultures have described the annual event as a “family re-union”.

House II House: “Time to feel the Rhythm”. Nine of the most soulful House DeeJays in the Denver area will be throwing-down to the audience’s delight. These brilliant DeeJays will use their skills of jockeying disk and introducing old hits to ensure that aficionados of music from the fifty’s to present day will get their dance on as they hear their favorite tune It’s time to feel the rhythm!

Scavenger Hunt will have festival attendees of all ages hunting for answers to “the clues”. There will be questions about renowned African American visual and performing artist, as well as questions on little known facts about the African Diaspora. In addition to being an educational experience, this activity encourages exploration of all the festival’s offerings as no stone is left unturned. Prizes will be awarded.

Louise Duncan Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Arts
The Louise Duncan Award is a community service based award that is presented to African-Americans in the Colorado community, whose talents and contributions have made a great impression and difference. Named for the first recipient, the Award has become a treasured tradition of the CBAF. This year’s honor goes to Bennie L. Williams, musician, educator, and founder of the Spiritual Voices. The award ceremony is Sunday July 10, at 5:30 PM on the main Kuumba stage. Join us as we recognize Ms. Williams as well as past recipients of the award.

30th Colorado Black Arts Festival on July 8-10th 2016
         Come see and feel the world with us. Origins 2016