The Crusader Newspaper Group

Gearing up for Labor Day weekend’s African Festival of the Arts

Seniors’ Day, surprises for kids, great authors slated for anniversary event

The 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts opens Friday at 1 p.m. on the grounds of historic Washington Park and continues through Monday, September 2.

The theme for this special anniversary is “Spirit of Africa.”

Friday is designated as “Senior Day” and everyone will be admitted to the park for $10 on Friday only. Also, this Friday don’t worry about the heat as the CTA will be providing a ‘cooling bus’ on site for the day.

Hours for Saturday – Monday are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and admission at the gate is $20.00.

For regular tickets starting at $15, and for more information, visit

Joining AFA as guest host for all of the evening entertainment events from the Dee Palmer Woodtor Main Stage will be Chicagoan Damon Williams, host of ‘Seriously Ignorant News,” on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; Sheila O., AIH board member, and international media personality; and Your Gospel Sister Pam Morris-Walton, AIH Board member, who will host Sunday’s “In the Spirit.”

Friday’s main stage entertainment kicks off under the theme, “Steppin’ under the Stars” with legendary DJ Sam Chatman and Marzette Griffin.

Saturday’s “AfroBeats” line-up features ChaiTulani & Calid B, D.J. Nosike, Rotimi, D.J. Nephets and Wale.

Sunday’s “In the Spirit” will feature performances by the Pleasant Green Choir, the Chicago Mass Choir, DJ Pat XL, the Kinsman and Donny McClurkin.

“The Soul of Africa” entertainment on Monday includes Terisa Griffin, AFRO B, and the Ohio Players.

Appearances at this year’s Book and Author Pavilion include Attorney James Montgomery, Susan Peters, DeKalb Walcott, Dr. Walter Williams, Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Deborah Rhodes, Yorli Huff and Dr. Wesley Muhammad. There will also be an open mic tribute to Toni Morrison.

During the AFA the Festival grounds come alive as Washington Park is transformed into an African village. Visitors are transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich, hand-woven fabric and textiles, and other program spaces. Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-Folk Village, Children and Family Pavilion, African Heritage Pavilion, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Fine Art Pavilion, Food Court, and the African Marketplace.

Connect to the 30th Annual AFA experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #AFAChi30.

Sponsors for the 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts include AC Green, AARP Foundation, AARP Illinois, Africa International House USA, AfroZons; Babystore, Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition, BET, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bonneville Academy Charter School, Bud Billiken Parade; CBS 2 Chicago, Chicago Alliance of African American Photo- graphers (CAAAP), Chicago Cubs, Chicago Park District, Chicago Reader, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago White Sox, ComEd, County Care; Disney, Ethiopian Airlines, Field Foundation, Ford Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Gift of Hope; Illinois Art Council, IlliniCare, Illinois Lottery, Jewel-Osco, Luster Products, MacArthur Foundation; Navy Pier, Nielsen, NRG, Oak Street Health; Pepsico, Pigment International, Pillars Insurance, PNC Bank, Prince Charitable Trust; Rogers Auto Group, Rush Hospital, Senior Talk Radio, Starbucks, State of Illinois, Step North, Surfs Up Restaurant; T-Mobile, The Chicago Citizen Newspaper, The Chicago Crusader, The Circle Foundation, Tito’s Handmade Vodka; UChicago Medicine, UIC’s Urban Health Program, United Airlines, Veteran’s Affairs, Walmart, Wines of South Africa and WVON Radio.

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