Colorado Black Arts Festival

With a rich history spanning over 38 years, this Colorado Black Arts Festival has become a prominent platform for Black artists to showcase their work and engage with a diverse audience.

Drawing an impressive crowd of over 30,000 visitors throughout the three-day event, the Colorado Black Arts Festival offers a unique opportunity for visual artists to sell and exhibit their art. The festival aims to raise awareness and appreciation for the contributions of Black artists and culture, providing a vibrant and inclusive space for artists to thrive.

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Contact Information
When:Yearly in July
Email Address[email protected]

About the Festival

The Colorado Black Arts Festival is a popular annual event that celebrates the vibrancy and richness of African American art and culture. Located in the historic Denver City Park West, this festival has a storied history that dates back to its inception in 1986. Over the years, it has grown from a small gathering of determined artists to a significant cultural event, drawing a diverse audience of over 30,000 visitors annually.

What sets the Colorado Black Arts Festival apart is its commitment to providing a platform for Black visual and performing artists to showcase their talent and creativity. The festival recognizes the lack of opportunities for these artists and seeks to address the prevailing inequities in the art world.

Through its extensive programming, the festival aims to raise awareness and appreciation for the role of Black arts in the community and foster a sense of pride in African American culture.

With its 38 years of black artistic excellence, the Colorado Black Arts Festival has become a pillar of the arts scene in Colorado and a must-visit event for art enthusiasts, collectors, and anyone interested in experiencing the beauty and diversity of African American art and culture.

Venue Information

In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Denver offers a unique blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure. With its rich cultural heritage and diverse population, the city provides a dynamic backdrop for events like the Colorado Black Arts Festival.

The festival takes place in the historic Denver City Park West, a neighborhood that reflects the city’s architectural charm and cultural significance. Located just a stone’s throw away from downtown Denver, the festival grounds provide a picturesque setting for artists and visitors alike.

The park offers ample space for exhibitors to showcase their work and creates a welcoming atmosphere for attendees to explore and immerse themselves in the vibrant world of African American art and culture.

With its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural excitement, Denver is the perfect backdrop for the Colorado Black Arts Festival.

Artist Opportunities

Opportunity for Artists

With an impressive attendance of over 30,000 visitors throughout the three-day event, this festival offers artists a vast potential to reach a large and diverse audience. The high number of attendees creates a bustling marketplace, providing artists with an excellent chance to generate significant revenue from sales.

As one of the largest vendor opportunities targeting African-American consumers and supporters of the African diaspora arts and culture, the Colorado Black Arts Festival attracts a wide range of art enthusiasts, collectors, and buyers. This diverse audience is eager to discover and invest in unique creations.

The festival’s reputation and extensive press coverage contribute to its popularity, ensuring a steady flow of attendees seeking to experience and purchase African American art.

Artists are encouraged to apply early and provide unique and culturally relevant products to increase their selection chances. Once accepted, artists can showcase their work alongside other professional and emerging artists, gaining exposure and expanding their reach within the art community.

Overall, the Colorado Black Arts Festival is a prime opportunity for artists to connect with a large audience, make sales, and establish their presence within the African American arts and culture scene.

How to Participate

Artists can apply for a vendor space through the festival’s official website to participate. The application process typically requires artists to complete an online form, providing details about their artwork, background, and any specific requirements for their booth.

The festival encourages artists to offer unique products and services relevant to the African diaspora to enhance the cultural experience for the Colorado community.

IArtists should adhere to guidelines, such as maintaining a professional display and following all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The festival does not permit the sale or exhibition of beverages in any form, including water or alcohol.

The specific timescale for the application process may vary from year to year. Artists are encouraged to stay updated with the festival’s official website or contact the vendor committee for the most accurate information regarding application deadlines and notification of acceptance.

fees and costs

Fees and Costs

The fees and costs for participating in the Colorado Black Arts Festival vary based on the type of vendor and booth size. Here are some examples based on the 2024 fee structure:

  • Application Fee: A non-refundable fee of $25 is payable upon application submission.
  • Marketplace Vendor: The base fee for a marketplace vendor is $150. This includes a 10×10 booth space with one 120V drop for electricity. Additional electrical options may be available upon request, subject to demand and rental availability.
  • Visual Artist: Visual artists have two booth size options. The fee for a 10×10 booth is $275, while a 10×20 booth costs $475. These fees are for professional and emerging African American artists selected based on their artistic talents.
  • Art Dealer: Art dealers, who sell or display artwork not of their own craftsmanship, have a base fee of $575 for a 10×10 booth and $1000 for a 10×20 booth.
  • Arts & Crafts Vendor: In the arts and crafts category, vendors selling personally handcrafted items exclusively made by the exhibitor can choose between a 10×10 booth for $400 or a 10×20 booth for $650. This category excludes clothing vendors who are considered marketplace vendors regardless of manufacturing method.

It’s important to note that these fees are subject to change, and there may be additional costs or requirements depending on specific vendor needs and the festival’s rental availability.

Vendors are also responsible for obtaining the necessary sales tax licenses and collecting the appropriate sales taxes for their sales. They must comply with all federal, state, and local regulations, including obtaining required permits or licenses. Additionally, vendors must have their liability insurance and may be asked to provide proof of insurance at check-in time.

Parking and Setup Logistics

Booth setup is typically scheduled on Thursday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., allowing vendors sufficient time to prepare their exhibition spaces. On Friday morning, vendors can access the festival grounds between 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to make final adjustments before the festival officially opens.

Parking is available in the blocks surrounding the west end of City Park, with three main gates at 21st and York, off 17th Avenue Park Roadway, and next to the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument. Vendors are advised to observe all City of Denver parking rules and regulations to ensure the local community’s convenience and avoid disruptions.

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