Chicago African Festival of the Arts
The annual African Festival of the Arts brings all facets of African culture to Chicago in a celebration of music, dance, food and art. Commemorating its 27th year, the festival transforms Hyde Park' neighborhood's Washington Park into a colorful African village, complete with traditional foods, dress and music from across the continent. Opening on Labor Day weekend, the event supplies four days of exciting cultural exploration.
Chicago African Festival of the Arts 
The expansive festival grounds are divided into five interactive villages that focus on a different aspect of African culture:
  • Nubia showcases fine art and museum quality collectibles, including sculpture, paintings, masks and jewelry.
  • Kush features wearable art, including hand-crafted traditional pieces and contemporary designs from across the African Diaspora.
  • Songhay provides arts and crafts as well as natural products such as shea butter and coconut oil.
  • Timbuktu highlights African fabrics and traditional beads and jewelry.
  • Bank of the Nile offers an array of food from around Africa and the Caribbean, including popular dishes like egusi from Nigeria and yassa from Senegal.
africa fest

africa music

The Dee Parmer Woodtor Stage hosts a rotating line-up of musical acts including Nigerian junu master Chief Ebenezer Obey and Chicago's own jazz vocalist Dee Alexander.
There's also various pavilions for more activities including a Children's & Family pavilion for kids and film, books and drumming areas.

The Essesentials:

African Festival of the Arts
Dates: September 2-5
Location: Washington Park, 5100 S. Cottage Grove
Hours: 10 AM-10 PM
Admission: $15 with advance purchase; $20 at the gate  


Photos courtesy of African Festival of the Arts and Rosalind Cummings-Yeates