Kalamazoo celebrates Black Arts Festival

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News
Photo of a man playing a trombone.

This year's festival runs July 11-17. Photo credit: blackartskalamazoo.org

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kalamazoo’s Black Arts Festival is celebrating 30 years in 2016 from Monday through Sunday, July 11-17.

Many events are free, unless noted. Donations are welcomed and will be collected by the program’s sponsor, the Black Arts and Cultural Center at its website, blackartskalamazoo.org.


  • Monday, July 11, Community Empowerment, film viewing and discussion, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Epic Center, Kalamazoo. Free admission.
  • Tuesday, July 12, Identifying Identity, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Kalamazoo College Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo. Showcasing the Black History of Kalamazoo, Douglass Youth Advisory Council presentation, special tributes to Anna Whitten and Dr. Charles Warfield and multi-generational community discussion. Free admission.
  • Wednesday, July 13, Throwback 30-Youth Day, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bible Baptist Church, Kalamazoo. Arts workshops, food, games, throwback costume contest and old school dance contest for ages 7 to 17. Free admission.
  • Thursday, July 14, Arts Exposure, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Epic Center. Photo scavenger hunt at the Epic Center. Community members will explore arts organizations located in The Epic Center and participate in a hands on activities and win prizes. Free admission.
  • Friday, July 15, 30 Year Anniversary Founders Luncheon Celebration, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Fetzer Center, Western Michigan University. Honoring BACC Founders Lois Jackson, James Palmore, Bertha McNeal and Gail Sydnor and features a buffet lunch, entertainment and other awards and honors. Cost: $20 per person.
  • Friday, July 15, Transcending Talent Arts Exhibition & Showcase, 7 to 9 p.m., Epic Center. Face Off Theatre Company’s 2nd Season Kick-Off “The Colored Museum,” Truth Tone Records Arts showcase. General admission is $20 or $15 for BACC members, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for children under  12.
  • Saturday, July 16, Unity Weekend, 10 a.m. parade and vendors, food, games, history tent, drum and dance tent, live entertainment from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., La Crone Park, Kalamazoo. Free admission.
  • Saturday, July 16, Summer Black Party, 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Epic Theate, Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo. Live music with DJ Conscious, appetizers and cash bar. $20 in advance, $25 at the door, or $10 per person for groups of 10 in advance.
  • Sunday, July 17, Unity Weekend-Gospel in the Park, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 3 p.m., Unity Call to Action by local clergy; and 3:30 p.m., Unity Sing-off, La Crone Park. Vendors, food, games, history tent, drum and dance tent, live entertainment, and more. Free admission.

For more information, call the BACC at (269) 349-1035, email at info@blackartskalamazoo.org or visit blackartskalamazoo.org.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.