The Colorado Celebration of African American Arts and Culture welcomes and encourages all citizens, artists, performers, vendors, volunteers and donors to join us in promoting art and culture in the Denver metro area and the whole state of Colorado. We also encourage and welcome fellow artists from around the world.
There are many different ways to participate and contribute to the success of our efforts to use arts and culture to build a platform for arts and culture and build a community of liked minded people around the country and the globe.
Festival 2017 Highlights
The Colorado Black Arts Festival’s goal is to unite and enlighten the entire Colorado community through visual presentations, music, dance, special exhibitions and food that showcase the African American and African Diaspora experience. Innovative programming was designed around this year’s theme and has been woven into Festival favorites, as well as our new programs and activities to entertain and enrich the entire family.
For young minds, we have the Opalanga D. Pugh Children’s Pavilion for Art and Learning that is a fun and interactive learning place for children ages 2-13. It is a venue for children and the entire family to create, to learn and to have fun. There are culturally relevant act ivies and education for enlightenment and entertainment. The Children’s Pavilion is a place for the entire family.
Boogaloo Celebration Parade’s Parade organizers are excited to have Denver’s renowned and beloved DeeJay, Al Your Pal return as emcee for the parade this year. The parade will feature the 80 strong Marching Saints form Omaha, Nebraska, the Bella Diva Dance Company, Samba Colorado Drum and Dance Company, and colorful floats designed by Perry Ayers. This highly anticipated festival event is down 22nd Ave between Downing and York Streets. It is a festive, colorful, and elaborate showcase of community pride that thrills thousands of parade spectators-both young and old alike. The parade will end at the main archway of Denver City Park. Crowds flock to claim their spot to witness the pageantry of the parade. The crowds are never disappointed as they feel the energy and excitement while watching drill and drum teams, step teams, youth groups, civic groups, and colorful themed floats.
The Kuumba Stage the creativity performing arts stage will feature Neo-Soul, R&B, Blues, Jazz, Reggae and Gospel. Saturday performances will feature the soulful and sultry sounds of Neo-Soul recording artist Rajdulari, Blues by Ricky Earl, R&B, funk and Pop by Chase N’
The Dream, Jazz by Tony Exum, Jr., Linda Styles and more. Sunday’s stage will feature gospel choirs and ensembles, praise dance, and more with the final Gospel experience being international-renown producer, songwriter and recording artist Melvin Williams of The Williams Brothers. Ron Ivory and “The Miles Apart Band” will close out the Kuumba Stage on Sunday. The 2017 Kuumba Stage is truly dynamic experience.
Health Highways will provide free health screenings and learning about health, safety and wellness. You will learn about the Healing Arts for mind and body. You really should not miss the Health Highways experience.
A Film Pavilion, sponsored by Xfinity, will feature interesting films written, produced and directed by African Americans and films with a majority African-American cast will be shown in the Film Pavilion. You will also see documentaries about Blacks in Denver, Colorado and short films by talented African American filmmakers. Get your popcorn at the Film Pavilion and enjoy the show.
The Joda Village Stage and Compound was named in honor of Mr. Adetunji Joda- teacher, master drummer and dancer who taught traditional Nigerian African Dance and Drum in Denver for more than 40 years. The Joda Village Stage showcases creative interpretations of Brazilian, Caribbean and African drum and dance, spoken word, African roots music, and Reggae. Demonstrations in West African drum and dance Capoeira will be given in Joda Village. A beautiful short play “African Stories and Folklore” will be presented by Baba Ken Grimes and special guest.
Scavenger Hunt sponsored by Noble Energy is for festival attendees of all ages exploring for answers to “the clues”. There are questions about renowned African American visual and performing artist, as well as questions on little known facts about Noble Energy and the African Diaspora. In addition to being an educational experience, this activity encourages exploration of all the festival’s offerings, as no stone will be left unturned. Prizes will be awarded; a grand prize will be provided by Noble Energy. This is a fun family or friend activity.
Community Mural is a prominent venue within the Visual Arts area. The Community Mural is part of the festival 2017’s art sharing project where the Professional and Amateur will work together to create several 4’ by 8’ panel works of art. This engaging activity will allow you to learn art techniques used by professional artists.
The African American Visual Arts Row will be a prominent venue for all to enjoy and purchase artwork of professional and budding artist. Noted elite African American Visual Artists will exhibit their finest original works. An all media show will include paintings, oils, acrylics and watercolors, drawings, etchings, pen, ink, charcoal, folk art, and silk screen. Other media includes collage, glass, fiber, woodcarvings, jewelry, and sculpture.
The “Watu-Sakoni” People’s Marketplace is the heart of an African village. The Festival’s Watu Sokoni is where you can enter a place decked with colorful merchandise, handmade crafts, and aromas to titillate the senses. Whether you are looking to adorn the body with beautiful and unique clothing, exotic jewelry, fabrics, headgear, beadwork or natural balms and oils, the market is where you can find it. You will also find hand weaved African baskets, home décor, and African artifacts. We also have special services and resources from non-profit and socio-civic organizations.
Food Court will have an assortment of tasty and affordable food offerings prepared and presented by local restaurants, caterers and confectionaries. The food court will feature delicious foods from the American South, the African continent, the Caribbean, and American favorites at affordable prices.
Art Garden is a principal venue for all to enjoy. It will be one of the biggest audience draws where your attention is focused on the beauty of visual arts. The Art Garden will be set in the beautiful, grassy and tree garlanded historic Denver City Park. Set among large sculptures will be bottle trees. See and learn the history of the bottle tree that has its roots in the Congo area of Africa in the 9th Century A.D. The practice of bottle trees was brought over by the slaves to ward off evil spirits.
Car Show will feature community car clubs displaying their treasured and well preserved hot-rods and vintage cars for festivalgoers to enjoy and discuss with the owners.