Our Story

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, and expressions of creativity that the arts engender, and that contribute to pride and self-esteem.

The first festival took place in August 1987. The next year the Festival moved to July not to be vulnerable to Colorado’s August monsoons the festival experienced its first year. 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 statewide reach of the event. The CBAF has attracted patrons and artists from around the world. The Festival has received many awards for its outstanding Festival presentation.

More information on our founders coming soon.