The mission of Colorado Celebration of African American Arts and Culture is to seek to involve the total community in helping to establish self-reliance, believing that pride in one's culture is the foundation for long- term stability and prosperity. The CCAAAC strives to develop, promote and celebrate African American arts and culture in Colorado. Towards the fulfillment of its mission, the CCAAAC is committed to raise the level of appreciation for the role that Black arts and culture play in the development, growth and well-being of the community, provide a medium for local Black talent in the area of visual and performing arts, educate and stimulate cultural awareness and cultivate harmony, pride, self-esteem, and unity.
The Denver Black Arts Festival (DBAF) had its humble beginnings in 1986 when a small contingent of artist and art lovers felt the lack of opportunities for African American visual and performing artists in the Denver Metro area was detrimental to the survival of the artists who were compelled to do art. They felt this lack of opportunity for the artist denied the African American community the education, ideas, movement, words, voices, beauty, colors, dimensions and expressions of creativity that the arts engender, and that contribute to pride and self-esteem.
The first festival took place in August 1987. It rained the full two days of the festival when a small audience of determinedly fixed believers refused to go home. The next year the Festival moved to July not to be vulnerable to Colorado's August monsoons. In 1988, the second annual Festival drew an audience of well over 30,000. By 1990, attendance reached 60,000. In 2009, the DBAF changed its name to Colorado Celebration of African American Arts and Culture, dba Colorado Black Arts Festival, an appropriate name in light of the state-wide reach of the event. In 2016, the CBAF will celebrate 30 years of operation. The CBAF has attracted patrons and artists from around the world.
On behalf of all Denverites, I want to sincerely thank you for providing Denver with a steady stream of beautiful artistic achievements that we all may enjoy, Denver is a pivotal cultural center of the West and The Coloardo Black Arts Festival is an amazing opportunity ot shocase the skill and talent that Coloradoans hae to offer the artistic community.
Member of Congress
Thank you so much, CBAF, for upholding what is best about our community, our city and our nation: the joyful celebration of our unique gifts and talents in the midst of the wider community.
Michael B. Hancock
Mayor, City and County of Denver
This is an important cultural event for the Colorado community.
Wife of Founder