Our Time Press

50TH INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN ARTS FESTIVAL

A’ngela Winbush, Johnny Osbourne, Eto’o Tsana, Forces of Nature, Farafina Kan to headline
LIVE AND VIA LIVESTREAM FROM COMMODORE BARRY PARK
JULY 2-4, 2021

The International African Arts Festival, Brooklyn’s premier cultural and family event returns to the Commodore Barry Park on Friday, July 2nd through Sunday, July 4th, in celebration of 50 years of empowerment and celebration of all things Pan African.


The theme for this year’s gathering is “Hamsini Ni Dhahabu” Swahili for Fifty is Gold.
This year, the IAAFestival pays tribute to “Women Holding Up Half the Sky and The Heaven.” One such woman is American singer/songwriter and record producer, A’ngela Winbush who comes out of retirement to open the weekend of festivities on Friday, July 2nd. Reggae Royalty Johnny Osbourne will close out the festival on Sunday, July 4th singing many of his classical hits, like Ice Cream Love and Truths and Rights.


“There is high anticipation for the festival’s return,” says Dr. Segun Shabaka, Chairman of the Board of Directors, “folks want to gather in person, after all that has happened with Covid.” Dr. Shabaka pointed out that a special ceremony of remembrance will be conducted on Saturday afternoon for those lost to Covid, by Martha E. Bright, a founding member of the East Cultural and Educational Center.
From all accounts, families will gather from Friday, July 2nd through Sunday, July 4th at Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene, Brooklyn from 10am to 9pm, to experience African excellence from food, to fashion, to art, to music, to massages, longed for by so many. There will be a Service of Remembrance and Dr. Shabaka promises that “Festival will deliver for its fiftieth year with social distancing protocols observed and masks worn.”
There is also a buzz around performers like Eto’o Tsana and Nkumu Katalay, Charisa the Violin Diva, Forces of Nature, Farafina Kan, The Drifters featuring Magic and the Ohio Players Revue, not to mention Mollywop, Verbosity and Koku Gonza who are also on the bill.


For rapid entry into the 50th International African Arts Festival tickets are available on Eventbrite, click on this link https://bit.ly/3wukVPS to purchase a $15 Day Pass or a $50 Three Day Pass or become a Friend of Festival at the VIP level of $125 which includes refreshments all day, a gift bag filled with items from key sponsors, VIP Seating in the Asante Sana tent and a VIP special entrance. A donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children will be requested at the gate for regular entry. The IAAFestival will be LIVE streamed, purchase tickets here or Follow @iaafestival on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.


There are no vendor spaces available, please do not inquire. For other information call 718-638-6700 or visit, www.iaafestival.org.
All participants and guests are required to wear masks, hand sanitize and socially distance.
Location: Commodore Barry Park is located across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, bounded by Nassau St., Park Ave., bet. Navy St. and N. Elliot Pl.
About Us:
The International African Arts Festival (IAAFESTIVAL) began in 1971 as the African Street Carnival. It’s the oldest, multiple day festival celebrating African culture in the US. It started as a PTA – block party and fundraiser for Uhuru Sasa Shule (Freedom Now School), an independent school in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Local entertainers, arts and crafts vendors, along with parents who prepared food were among the 2,000 people who made the event a success. Currently known as the International African Arts Festival (IAAFestival), a part of the cultural landscape of Brooklyn and today, IAAFestival attracts an estimated 75,000 attendees from not only Brooklyn and New York City but across the US and globally.
Over the years, the stages of the Festival have featured renowned artists such as Blue Magic, The Mighty Sparrow, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, KRS-1, Lauryn Hill, India Arie; artists who grew to achieve national and international acclaim.
IAAFestival SPONSORS: IAAFestival is a 501 © (3) non-profit organization supported by artisans, vendors, sponsors, patrons, and volunteers. This Program is supported in part by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the NYC Council, NY State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo; NYC Council Brooklyn Delegation (Councilmembers Inez Barron, Laurie A. Cumbo, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Mathieu Eugene) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.