First Things

Something Cultural

Black Arts Festival features music, dance and more

Celebrating Black culture and raising awareness of equity issues in our community are the focus of this year’s Black Arts Festival, set for 10 a.m.–midnight July 10 at Arcadia Creek Festival Place, in downtown Kalamazoo.

Put on by the Black Arts & Cultural Center, this 35th annual event will feature live music, food trucks, art and vendors from Black-owned businesses. Capacity is limited to 500 people at the festival site at one time. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the music performances. Admission is free until 5 p.m. and $35 after 5 p.m. in order to control capacity, with all of the fees going toward the BACC’s capital campaign.

The day before, the festival will host a Youth Day from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Douglass Community Association, 1000 W. Paterson St., where kids can experience African art and dance, spray painting and virtual reality. Free food and entertainment will also be available.

In addition, the Black Arts and Cultural Center has curated an augmented-reality art exhibition that will be presented at various locations in the community throughout the month. Artworks created by diverse youth and adults will "come alive" when a code is scanned using a downloadable mobile app. For the locations of the artworks or more information about the festival, visit