The Crusader Newspaper Group

The 34th annual African Festival of the Arts celebrates ‘The Decade for People of African [Ancestry]’ and the 50th anniversary of hip-hop


Africa International House USA, Inc. (AIH) presents performing artists from all points of the African Diaspora to celebrate the United Nation’s proclaimed “International Decade for People of African [Ancestry]” during the 34th Annual African Festival of the Arts in Washington Park Labor Day Weekend, September 1-4, 2023. In a renewed collaboration with WVON, opening day Friday, Sept 1 is FREE for all attendees with a ticket. Tickets are required for each day of the Festival and are available at

“Africa International House is committed to educating all people about the greatness of Africa and people of African ancestry,” said Patrick Woodtor, president and founder of AIH and the African Festival of the Arts. “We stand in unity with the United Nations in recognizing the undeniable connectedness of all African Diaspora people and our collective impact in shaping and informing global cultures.”

The 50th Anniversary of HipHop will also be celebrated with a curated HIPHOP EXPERIENCE that includes panel discussions on the impact and future of the multi-generation culture movement, performances with Dead Prez and Buckshot (Black Moon), a HipHop fine dining event, and other activities that highlight the HipHop lifestyle. AIH is collaborating with the Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago to present the Afro-Brazilian dance and music group Ile Aiye from Bahia, Brazil, which will present culture and heritage workshops during the 4-day festival and will perform Monday, Sept 4.

Non-stop performances on two stages highlight the music of the African Diaspora starting Friday, Sept.1, with R&B megastar Freddie Jackson and Soul/ Jazz vocalist Maysa. Saturday, Jamaican Reggae artist Gyptian follows the HIPHOP EXPERIENCE with Buckshot (Black Moon) and Dead Prez (NYC/Florida). Mamadou Diabate and Percussion Mania (Mali) set the stage Sunday for gospel legend Dorothy Norwood with the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir and The Victory Travelers. The Festival closes Monday with ILE AIYE (Bahia, Brazil) performing Afro-Brazilian song and dance, followed by Jazz impresario Dee Alexander and funk-master CAMEO!

For details, tickets, and information, visit

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