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The Fourth Annual

Chattanooga Festival of

Black Arts & Ideas

"Juneteenth Independence Day Commemoration"

May 31st - June 25th

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4th Annual Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas

Juneteenth Independence Day Commemoration

Monday, May 31st - June 25th 

The Black Arts Festival strongly believes in the transformative Power Of The Arts. We believe that art delights, instructs, and consoles by educating our emotions. Art awakens, enlarges, refines, and restores our humanity. James Baldwin once said,   "All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up." 


In the interest of public safety, the 2021 Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas: Juneteenth Independence Day will adhere to current CDC guidelines. 

We recognize the Juneteenth holiday and its public commemoration is more important now than ever.  Juneteenth represents a historic triumph of the human spirit. With the coronavirus weighing heavily on everyone’s heart, the world should know that we have been here before.  And just as our spirit has not and will not be defeated by centuries of slavery, oppression and injustice it will not be defeated by this pandemic.  Chattanooga needs the uplift that the Black Arts Festival: Juneteenth Commemoration had started to create over the past three years. While we  skipped the physical celebration of local Black artist in 2020, work has already begun for 2021! While it still wont be a full schedule of events we have decide to do as much as we can under the current CDC recommendations.  Most of the events will take place outside while some will be be live streamed.  While some may choose to join us in-person we hope others will join us virtually. Regardless of which mood you celebrate we will ALL commemorate Juneteenth together in our hearts! 

Consist of Eight Days of Performances, Visual Art Exhibitions, 

Food, Crafts, Vendors and Discussions Panels

With a commitment to celebrating the extraordinary contributions of artists of African descent, the Annual Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas presents a slate of work showcasing the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, film and literature at varies locations throughout Chattanooga.

This multi-disciplinary festival aims to spotlight emerging and established Black artists and build greater community awareness of the diversity of Black arts within Chattanooga, Hamilton County and the World. The festival also provides opportunities for discussions on topics that connect Black arts to other areas  in the community.

What our customers are saying

“The first and most important outcome I want the festival to achieve is to awaken the Greater Chattanooga community to the broad spectrum of exemplary work by Black artists in our own backyard. This celebration will allow other ethnicities to better understand and embrace the concept that while these works of art may be created by Black people and reflective of the Black condition, they more importantly speak to the human condition 

in ways that only the arts can do.”

- Ricardo "Ric" Morris, CFBA&I Founder & CEO

Ricardo "Ric" Morris


Chattanooga Festival of 

Black Arts & Ideas 

 May 31st - June 25th 

Events will take place  in varying locations throughout Chattanooga.


• Monday, May 31st / Tulsa Massacre Solemn Candlelight Ceremony

At 5:00 we will host, in the Waterhouse Pavilion the inaugural, Inviting Their Voices: A Youth Townhall on Racism. Afterwards we will gather on the lawn of Miller Park at 6:21 PM to commemorate the centennial with a display of 300 red flags in effigy of those lives lost and bloodshed during the three-day assault on the Greenwood community. In addition, there will be key speakers, musicians, and spoken word artist. We will end the ceremony with the lighting of candles and a prayer for unity.

• Fridays, June 4th – 25th / Oscar Micheaux Black Film Festival

Every Friday throughout the month of June we will partner with the Community Haven located in the heart of our community to present Black films and documentaries in an outdoors setting.

• Thursday, June 10th / Opening Night Cocktails at Proof Bar

The work of Joseph Forson, this year’s Black Arts Festival featured artist will be on display and for purchase at the Proof Bar & Incubator for the next 6 months. In Addition, Joseph’s work will also be featured in the windows of EPB at MLK and Market.

• Friday, June 18th / Visual Artist Meet and Greet

In partnership with the Ed Johnson Memorial committee Joseph Forson, this year’s Black Arts Festival featured artist and Jerome Meadows who created the Ed Johnson Memorial will engage local artist in discussion at Keeody Gallery. An online option will be available.

• Saturday, June 19th / Scratching Your Roots Black Genealogy Workshop

This event will be held at the Chattanooga Public Library and hosted by State Representative Joann Favors. The workshop is designed to provide tools for those of African decent discover who they are. In the event the library is un able to host due to CDC recommendations the workshop will be held virtually.

• Saturday, June 19th Juneteenth Independence Day All School Reunion

Our goal this year is to bring Juneteenth into the heart of the Black community by hosting the event in partnership with Community Haven located in East Chattanooga. Festival goers are invited to bring tents, lawn chairs, and pic-nic baskets and stay all day. We will provide field games and activities, food trucks and a line-up of extraordinary Black performing artists.

• Sunday, June 20th Black Dads Matter Jazz Brunch Cruse

This year’s Father’s Day celebration will be held aboard the Southern Belle Chattanooga River Boat. Father’s and their families will be treated to a jazz set by Dexter Bell and Friends as they dine. Through the use of online submissions, we will select the winner of the 2nd Extradentary Black Dad Award.

With this fourth-year’s presentation of the festival, we continue to strive to gain a reputation for providing audiences with artistic experiences that are extraordinary and enriching. We also remain committed to pairing those experiences with engaging and thought-provoking dialogue.

What is Juneteenth Independence Day?

JUNTEENTH - June 19, 1865

The dates of the festival coincides with the internationally recognized observance of Juneteenth, a U.S. holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and, more widely, the emancipation of African slaves throughout the former Confederacy.


See What People Are Saying

“With this fourth annual presentation of the festival, we continue to strive to gain a reputation for providing audiences with artistic experiences presented by Black artists that are extraordinary and enriching for the entire community.” 

- Ricardo "Ric" Morris,
CFBA&I Founder & CEO