Photo credit: International African Arts

The International African Arts Festival (IAAF), Brooklyn’s beloved celebration of African culture and family, returns to Fort Greene from Friday, July 2 through Sunday, July 4.

Now in its 50th year, the festival brings three days of music, dance and spoken word to Commodore Barry Park, and this year the festival pays tribute to “Women Holding Up Half the Sky and The Heaven.” The theme for the 50th anniversary celebration is ‘Hamsini Ni Dhahabu’ —  Swahili for Fifty is Gold.

The IAAF is the longest running cultural arts festival in the United States dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the cultural and historical legacy of people of African descent. 

Performers in the three-day festival include A’ngela Winbush, The Drifters, Eto’o Tsana and Nkumu Katalay, Razia Said, Charisa The Violin Diva, along with Forces of Nature and Farafina Kan African dancers and drummers, as well reggae and dancehall legend, Johnny Osbourne with Statement Band.

The International African Arts Festival began in 1971 as a fundraiser for the Uhuru Sasa School, a community-based initiative that educated youth and adults about African culture. Started as a small gathering with about 20 arts and crafts vendors, local entertainers and food prepared by parents of the school’s students, the inaugural festival attracted almost 2,000 people. Today, the event is known as the International African Arts Festival and has an estimated annual audience of 75,000.

Tickets for the 50th International African Arts Festival are $15 for a day pass or $50 for a three-day pass. VIP passes are available for $125, and include refreshments, a gift bag, VIP Seating in the Asante Sana tent and special entrance. To purchase tickets, click here.

International African Arts Festival

When: Friday, July 2 – Sunday, July 4, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm – rain or shine

Where: Commodore Barry Park, Flushing Ave & N. Elliot Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Admission: $15 for a day pass; $50 for a three-day pass

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