The Arts in Black Festival, a celebration of African American heritage and art was first held in February 1986 on the campus of J. T. Reddick Middle School. The festival was the brainchild of Leroy Bynum, the assistant director of Abraham Baldwin College’s arts experiment station. Mr. Bynum was successful in bringing together local citizens who partnered with the college informing the group later known as the arts in black committee.
The festival offers area residents of different cultural backgrounds the opportunity to experience African American culture and traditions through exciting performances, exhibits, workshops and foods. Area youth are encouraged to participate in the festival sponsored parade along with the talent and poetry competition. First, second and third place winners are recognized in various categories of each competition.
The festival sponsors an artist in residence at a local school to encourage participation of the students in festival activities. A health fair is included as part of the festival activities. An exhibit of professional artwork is also displayed in one of the local facilities each year. Works of such noted artists as P.H. Polk, Mary Jackson, Annie Greene and Henry Gorham have been seen in Tifton. William and Susan Rochfort’s collection of African masks, headdresses, sculptures and furniture provided a unique opportunity for area residents to see African ceremonial art.
Continuing the tradition of past festivals, the arts in black committee strives to bring dynamic and enriching experiences to the Tiftarea annually.
ARTS IN BLACK FESTIVAL
Celebrating Arts, Music, & Dance for the enjoyment of the Tiftarea Community!