Black performing and visual artists, musical acts, dancing, food, vendors, kids activities, resource groups and cultural institutions.
All of this and more is what attendees can expect at this year’s Black Arts Fest MKE, according to a news release.
The annual festival is set to return Saturday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ability to have a festival that’s family friendly and well run at a beautiful facility on the lakefront, sends the message that the African American community is valued,” the fest’s board chair Derek Tyus, senior vice president-chief investment officer of West Bend Mutual Insurance, said in a news release. “Black Arts Fest MKE will showcase all types of music, dance, art, and food. Our goal is to highlight the rich cultural legacy and contributions of African American culture with a strong focus and an emphasis on Black and African-owned businesses and artists from the state.”
Here’s what to know about the 2022 event, from its hours and location to entertainment and activities.
When is Black Arts Fest MKE?
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Where is Black Arts Fest MKE located?
Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee
What is Black Arts Fest MKE?
“Black Arts Fest MKE was created to continue Milwaukee’s long history of gathering individuals from across the nation to be educated, celebrate, remember, and honor the deep-rooted African heritage and impact of Black Cultural Arts in America,” a news release said.
Entertainment: Musical performances, Divine Nine roll calls
A Divine Nine — Black fraternities and sororities — party will be going on all day.
- 12:30 p.m. Opening ceremony
- 1 p.m. Cultural celebration by Heritage
- 2 p.m. R&B Live MKE founded by Lena Cole and Divine Nine roll call by DJ Mr. Martin of R&B Live
- 4 p.m. “Soul Unplugged on the Porch” hosted by Kwabena Nixon
- 5 p.m. “Erykah Badu and Jill Scott Experience” performed by Tasha Marie and Sondra B
- 6 p.m. Divine Nine party roll call
- 7 p.m. “Band Bazaar” presented by Cigarette Break, featuring Adi Armour, Joe Jordan, DMC, and Shonn Hinton & Shotgun
Cultural Stage: African dance, musical acts
The Cultural Stage will feature African dance at 1 p.m., then performances by Tiffany Terry at 1:30 p.m., Tasha Nicole at 2 p.m., Chris Crain at 3 p.m. and Christopher’s Project at 5 p.m.
Family area: Crafts, TikTok dance, fashion show
The Family Village area will offer face painting, and arts and crafts at noon, the lineup said.
Signature Dance Company will be there at 1:30 p.m.
A TikTok dance challenge will be happening at 2 p.m. to the song “JUMP” by Ciara. The fest shared the dance — led by Milwaukee dancer Casey Sellers — on its Facebook page, so people have time to practice it ahead of time.
An “African Fun: Family Fashion Show” will be held at 3 p.m. And Fetch ‘Du Senegal African dance will be happening at 5 p.m., the lineup said.
More activities: Art, sports, marketplace
An arts expo will be going on all day at the Arts Pavilion. Vibez Creative Arts Space will be hosting sip and paint sessions at 1 and 7 p.m., and a Divine Nine Party session at 4 p.m.
The Sports Area will have “Kiddie Basketball” hosted by B.I.G. Dreams and Premier Athletic Training Services at noon, and Knockerball at 4:30 p.m.
There will also be a Cigar Lounge hosted by Ash Gang and a vendor marketplace.
Tickets must be purchased in advance
“Tickets are only sold electronically and must be purchased in advance,” a post on Black Arts Fest MKE’s Facebook page said.
A general admission ticket for those ages 13 to 64 costs $15.
A senior citizens ticket for those at least 65 years old costs $12.
A youth ticket for kids ages 8 to 12 costs $10.
Kids 7 years old and younger and veterans with military credentials receive free admission.
To purchase tickets, visit universe.com/events/black-arts-fest-mke-tickets-NC8SFH. And for more info on the fest, visit blackartsfestmke.com.
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