The city of festivals is in full swing this year as we cruise into another month at the Henry Maier Festival Grounds. On Aug. 6, Black Arts Fest MKE celebrates the deep roots of African heritage and marvels at the creativity of Black cultural arts. From noon to 10 p.m., the one-day festival highlights expressions of physical and performance art throughout the 75-acre grounds. From poetry to music, literature to immersive painting experiences, Black Arts Fest MKE is fun for the whole family! Here are some ideas on how to spend your day at the festival:
Erykah Badu Meets Jill Scott Experience
Paying tribute to two music icons, artists Sondra B and Tasha Marie will bring all your favorite Erykah Badu and Jill Scott hits to life in a show that you won’t want to miss! Head to the Miller Lite Stage at 5 p.m. as Sondra B and Tasha Marie put on a “Golden” performance that will stay with you into the “Next Lifetime.”
Find Your Inner Artist
It wouldn’t be an art festival without an immersive artistic experience. Express yourself at the Sip & Paint activation in the Arts Pavilion. With sessions beginning at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m., unleash your inner artist and let your creativity be your guide. Whether it’s the warm buzz of inspiration — or maybe a little something stronger — you’ll walk away with a masterpiece all your own.
Divine Nine Party
Stop by the Divine Nine Party at The Miller Lite Stage for roll calls at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and learn the story behind these historic organizations that make up the Divine Nine. Founded in the early 1900s, these fraternities and sororities brought together Black men and women in the name of fellowship in the face of widespread racism on college campuses. To celebrate these organizations’ mission of betterment and service for their members, the Divine Nine are throwing a party! Stop by for the lively roll calls and party all day long from the Opening Ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. to Soul Unplugged on the Porch at 4 p.m., and so much more!
Ever wanted to start a trend? Now you can! Bring the whole family to the Family Village at 2 p.m. for the TikTok Challenge with Casey Sellers. Stop by with your best choreographed moves to try to keep up with Sellers, a professional dancer. Be sure to stop by the Family Village throughout the day for other fun activities for the family like crafts, face paint, and a family fashion show.
Stroll Through the Vendor Market
Load up on all your favorite works by local makers at the vendor market. Take home a memento of the festival or find the perfect piece for your home at one of the many spaces located throughout the grounds. Stop by the vendor market to see everything the vendors have to offer and take in even more locally made goods.
Find full lineup information, purchase tickets, and stay up to date with the festival at the Black Arts MKE website and Facebook page.
Looking for a way to get involved in the festival? Sign up for a volunteer shift! Volunteers receive free admission to the festival, a t-shirt, a meal, and a certificate of participation. Sign up here.