African Festival Of The Arts is Celebrating and adding Spotlight on Barrett Keithley a multi-disciplined artist. He creates works of art that speaks to the story of his upbringing on Chicago’s south side known as the “Wild Hundreds.” He began creating to bring and create resources for his community. He started his platform Crown B Studios to aid in the production and the performance of Art & Entertainment. He’s curated and produced some of the biggest art events in Chicago with attendees of over a thousand; along with creating large scale murals in the city’s downtown neighborhood. He is currently working on “Paint The City” alongside his co-founder to bring local black artists and local businesses together to heal the city through art. In addition he is working on a body of work that speaks to the OUR current times.
Celebrating The Drum!. The Dance. The Experience, an exploration of the influence African and African-American heritage had on the cultural arts in Chicago for more than 40 years. This pavilion showcases interactive music education sessions and cultural performances rooted in African traditions; historical artifacts, photos; performances; and demonstrations by artistic Drummers and Dancers from around the world. Master drummers Olu Shakoor and Baba Tyehimba Mtu lead sessions that teach drumming techniques. A spontaneous and collaborative environment encourages all to participate in the rhythmic experience and share their gifts with others.
Our rich and authentic Marketplace offerings attract national attention. The African Festival of the Arts is the mission sustaining program for Africa International House: “…that exposes and educates all peoples to the individual works and collective contributions of African cultures. …” All products and/or services offered for sale or presented at the festival must support and reflect this intent. We are looking forward to opening our new eCommerce Merchant Market, we will notify you of the online live launch soon.
The African Festival of the Arts was founded to celebrate the collective ancestry and rich cultural traditions of Africans throughout the Diaspora. The general belief of “we are because they (our ancestors) were” was the impetus for creating a venue where our ancestors could be venerated through the art created by their descendants. The Ancestral Grove is the spiritual center of the AFA; a sacred space where you can acknowledge your ancestors and learn more about traditional African Spirituality. People of all faiths, colors, and ages are invited to engage or observe sessions and conversations with African priests, spiritualists, healers, nutritionists, and herbalists. Try the diviners and other readers to uncover your hidden paths. Practice at home and stay safe performing Yoga sessions, back and neck massages, spiritual awakening (meditation), and discussions.
Needles and Threads hosts the Quilting Pavilion to showcase the ageless tradition that has cultural significance across the African Diaspora. From slave codes to storytelling, quilting seamlessly connected generations of Africans to the Motherland. Festival-goers can visit the Quilting Pavilion to learn about the craft, gain insight to the intricate stitching and techniques like appliqué, piecing and embroidery. Enjoy the breathtaking vibrant colors and fabrics that make this textile artistry a lasting Cultural Legacy