Culture » Abstractions

Black Lives Create Fest brings together 30 Black artists


  • Sabrina Bockstanz

In March 2015, Nobel Prize-winning novelist, essayist and professor Toni Morrison wrote in The Nation that in challenging times, artists must refuse to remain silent.

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work,” she wrote in a piece for the progressive magazine’s 150th anniversary edition. “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”

Five years and five months later, 30 area Black artists, creatives, makers and businesses will speak, write, demonstrate and celebrate — and in turn help the community heal. The inaugural Black Lives Create Fest will be held in the Knob Hill neighborhood, home of the Knobhill Urban Arts District (KHUA).

Black vendors will sell original works of art, goods, services and talents, according to the Black Lives Create Fest Facebook page. Proceeds from all sales go directly to the artist, maker or vendor, who paid no vending fees to participate.

  • Liz Lawrence
The festival is also expected to include:
  • A community art sale benefiting the Empowerment Solidarity Network, Poetry 719 and the Chinook Center. (Kreuser Gallery, 125 E. Boulder St., will accept donation pieces starting at 4 p.m. Aug. 16);
  • Live music, stage performances, poetry readings and speeches;
  • A variety of local food trucks.

The festival is being presented by the Knobhill Urban Arts District, Non Book Club Book Club and Art by Jasmine Dillavou, with the sponsorship and support of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, Bee Vradenburg Foundation, Kreuser Gallery, Springs Ensemble Theater and KHUA. Masks and social distancing will be required for this outdoor event.

Aug. 22, noon to 8 p.m., Platte Furniture, 2331 Platte Place,

Editor's note: This article was updated to remove reference to the creation of a new mural, which will no longer be part of the event.

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