Brooklyn, NY – The International African Arts Festival (IAAFestival) announces the return of the nation’s oldest, continuously running, and most respected Pan-African celebration of music, dance, and culture. At the popular festival, world music lovers will enjoy the enriching sounds of Africa and the African Diaspora with artists representing Ghana, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, the United States, and other countries. IAAFestival, founded in 1971, will take place at Commodore Barry Park in downtown Brooklyn from Saturday, July 1 to Tuesday, July 4, 2023, rain or shine (from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm). The top highlights are GRAMMY-nominated reggae band RAGING FYAH (Jamaica); legendary trombonist of Sun Ra fame CRAIG HARRIS (United States); R&B singer LEON (United States); salsa singer CITA RODRIGUEZ (Puerto Rico); afro-fusion ensemble WAZUMBIANS (Ghana); world music singer SHERLEE SKAI (Haiti); a tribute to PHAROAH SANDERS featuring AZAR LAWRENCE and TOMOKI SANDERS; DINIZULU AFRICAN DANCERS, DRUMMERS, & SINGERS (Ghana/United States), and other features.
All are welcome to this public event. The suggested donation is $10 per day only. For general information, please send an email to info@IAAFestival.org, call (718) 638-6700, or visit IAAFESTIVAL.org. Media inquiries are directed to email@example.com or (718) 756-8501 (office).
2023 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS: General
The Festival represents the best in family-friendly programming and everyone is welcome to experience African excellence in a variety of expressions—from music, art, and fashion to food, children’s face painting, massages, and more. Key highlights include:
Daily Children and
Health Pavilion and Fair
Dance Workshops and
Martial Arts Exhibitions
Natural Hair Show
Poetry Show, and more!
2023 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHT: Symposium on Culture, Community, and Struggle
The intellectual component of The Festival is the annual Symposium on Culture, Community, and Struggle (since 1989). Since 1989, it has been co-presented with the New York Chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO). This year, on Saturday, July 1, 2023, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm, the two organizations will host their 34th annual symposium. It will include a screening of the Netflix documentary, The Sun Rises in the East which profiles The East, a major Black Power institution founded in Brooklyn which ran parallel to the Festival (see brief history below). The film will be followed by at discussion featuring panelists Malika Iman, Akilah Mashariki, and Dr. Segun Shabaka.
Confirmed speakers include Milton Alamadi, publisher of Black Star News; Chief Baba Neil Clarke, award-winning master percussionist; New York City Council and New York State Reparations Legislator Charles Barron; Maisha Ongoza, chairperson of Philadelphia chapter of NAKO; and Mshinda Nyofu, M.S. chairperson of Houston chapter of NAKO and instructor for Urban Education at the University of Houston. Invited speakers include psychologist Jamila Codrington, Ph.D.; Larry Hamm; and Donald Moore, M.D.
The symposium will take place at PS 287 (located at 50 Navy Street Brooklyn, NY 11201; between Park and Flushing Avenue), across the street from the IAAFestival’s grounds at Commodore Barry Park. This event is not sponsored or endorsed by the New York Department of Education or the City of New York.
Also, the Festival is a diverse space for spiritual and secular communities to fellowship in peace. Attendees have opportunities to attend the annual Akan ceremony (hosted by Akan spiritual practitioners), pay homage to their ancestors at the African Ancestors Shrine, and more.