Black performing and visual artists, musical acts, dance, food, vendors, children’s activities, resource groups and cultural institutions.

All of this and more is what attendees can expect at this year’s Black Arts Fest MKE, according to a press release.

The annual festival is set to return on Saturday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ability to have a family-friendly, well-run festival in a beautiful lakefront facility sends the message that the African-American community is valued,” said festival board chairman Derek Tyus, vice-president Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of West Bend. Mutual insurance said in a press release. “Black Arts Fest MKE will feature all types of music, dance, art and food. Our goal is to highlight the rich cultural heritage and contributions of African American culture with a focus on business and black and African artists of the state.”

Here’s what to know about the 2022 event, from its times and location to entertainment and activities.

When is Black Arts Fest MKE?

Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Where is Black Arts Fest MKE located?

Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee

What is Black Arts Fest MKE?

“The Black Arts Fest MKE was created to continue Milwaukee’s long history of bringing together individuals from across the country to be educated, celebrate, remember and honor the deeply rooted African heritage and impact of black cultural arts in America,” a press release said.

Entertainment: Musical performances, calls from Divine Nine

Here’s the entertainment lineup for the Miller Lite Stage, according to the festival’s website:

A Divine Nine – Dark Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods – party will be going on all day.

  • 12:30 p.m. Opening ceremony
  • 1:00 p.m. Cultural celebration through heritage
  • 2 p.m. R&B Live MKE founded by Lena Cole and Divine Nine roll call by DJ Mr. Martin of R&B Live
  • 4pm “Soul Unplugged on the Porch” hosted by Kwabena Nixon
  • 5 p.m. “Erykah Badu and Jill Scott Experience” performed by Tasha Marie and Sondra B
  • 6:00 p.m. Divine Nine roll call
  • 7 p.m. “Band Bazaar” presented by Cigarette Break, featuring Adi Armour, Joe Jordan, DMC and Shonn Hinton & Shotgun

Cultural scene: African dance, musical acts

The cultural stage will feature African dance at 1 p.m., followed by performances by Tiffany Terry at 1:30 p.m., Tasha Nicole at 2 p.m., Chris Crain at 3 p.m. and Christopher’s Project at 5 p.m.

Family area: Crafts, TikTok dance, fashion show

The Family Village area will feature face painting and arts and crafts at noon, the lineup said.

Signature Dance Company will be there at 1:30 p.m.

A TikTok dance challenge will take place at 2 p.m. to Ciara’s song “JUMP.” The festival shared the dance — led by Milwaukee dancer Casey Sellers — on its Facebook page, so people have time to practice it beforehand.

An “African Fun: Family Fashion Show” will take place at 3 p.m. and African Dance Fetch’ From Senegal will take place at 5 p.m., the lineup said.

More activities: Art, sports, market

An art exhibition will take place all day at the Pavillon des Arts. Vibez Creative Arts Space will host sip and paint sessions at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and a Divine Nine Party session at 4 p.m.

The Sports Zone will host “Kiddie Basketball” hosted by BIG Dreams and Premier Athletic Training Services at noon, and Knockerball at 4:30 p.m.

There will also be a Cigar Lounge hosted by Ash Gang and a vendors market.

In 2018, Saprina Johnson of Milwaukee painted on a large canvas with Thanh Nguyen at Black Arts Fest MKE.

Tickets must be purchased in advance

“Tickets are sold electronically only and must be purchased in advance,” said a post on the Black Arts Fest MKE Facebook page.

A general admission ticket for ages 13-64 is $15.

A ticket for seniors 65 and older is $12.

A youth ticket for children 8-12 years old is $10.

Children 7 and under and veterans with a military degree enjoy free admission.

To purchase tickets, visit And for more festival information, visit

Contact Hannah Kirby at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.


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