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Colorado Black Arts Festival

  • Denver City Park West (map)

"The Art of Knowing"

32nd Annual Colorado Black Arts
July 13 – 15, 2018

Festival Hours:

Friday, July 13 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 14 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 15 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The mission of the Colorado Black Arts Festival is to seek to involve the total community in helping to establish self-reliance, believing that pride in one’s culture is the foundation for long- term stability and prosperity.  The Colorado Black Arts Festival strives to develop, promote and celebrate African arts and culture in Colorado.

Towards the fulfillment of its mission, the CBAF is committed to the following objectives:

  • Raise the level of appreciation for the role that Black arts and culture play in the development, growth and well-being of the community.
  • Provide a medium for local Black talent in the area of visual and performing arts.
  • Educate and stimulate cultural awareness.
  • Cultivate harmony, pride, self-esteem, and unity.


The Denver Black Arts Festival (DBAF) had its humble beginnings in 1986 when a small contingent of artist and art lovers felt the lack of opportunities for African American visual and performing artists in the Denver Metro area was detrimental to the survival of the artists who were compelled to do art.  They felt this lack of opportunity for the artist denied the African American community the education, ideas, movement, words, voices, beauty, colors, dimensions and contradictions of creativity that the arts engender, and that contribute to pride and self-esteem.

The first festival took place in August 1987.  It rained the full two days of the festival when a small audience of determinedly fixed believers refused to go home.  The next year the Festival was moved to July not to be vulnerable to Colorado’s August monsoons.  In 1988, the second annual festival drew an audience of well over 30,000.  By 1990 attendance reached 60,000.  In 2009, the DBAF changed its name to Colorado Celebration of African American Arts and Culture, dba Colorado Black Arts Festival, an appropriate name in light of the state-wide reach of the event.  In 2018, the Colorado Black Arts Festival will celebrate 32 years of operation.  The Colorado Black Arts Festival has attracted patrons and artists from around the world.  The Festival has received many awards for its outstanding Festival presentation including the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.


Earlier Event: July 13
Denver County Fair
Later Event: July 13
The Summer Flea by Denver Flea