Brilliant Stories

Inside the 3rd Annual C-U Black and African Arts Festival

September 15, 2021

After a pandemic year, we're thrilled to see the return of our favorite events. One such event we're eagerly anticipating is the 3rd annual C-U Black and African Arts Festival! Returning to Lincoln Square Mall, this year's one-day festival takes place Saturday, September 18 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. We caught up with the co-founders Susan Ogwal and Cindy Owusu to talk about returning favorites and new features of the event that celebrates culturally diverse experiences that all can explore and encounter.

family friendly fun awaits for the 3rd annual c-u black and African arts festival

This year's event is going to be bigger and better than ever. One area that's expanding greatly this year is the number of kids' activities involved in the festival. This year's Kid's Corner will expand with 3 activity stations and a bounce house. At each of these activity stations, kids and families can engage with culture in a fun and educational way. There will also be a kids jam dance session filled with music all can enjoy. Performances for all ages include the youth dance group "Royal DystruXtion," African gospel and dance, and an evening with well-known local talent "Therup.Y" featuring Lajason Parker.  

During the festival time, participants will also be encouraged to buy products directly from festival vendors and visit informational tables. This is a great opportunity to not only engage with culturally diverse businesses and vendors but also directly support creators, makers, and entrepreneurs.

Music by DJ Silkee will keep the energy high at this event. If you didn't get a chance to attend the first event in 2019, then trust us when we say the festival is electric. If it's your first time stopping by, you'll love what you see - we guarantee it! Even if you only have an hour this Saturday, you'll want to make sure you check out this event. In just three years, it has become one of the most beloved events in our community.

2021 C-U Black and African Arts Festival After Party

After the festival wraps up at Lincoln Square Mall, The Rose Bowl is hosting an after party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with music and dancing. This area favorite for live music is the perfect backdrop to close the night off on a high! Even if you aren't able to stay until the end of the festival, be sure to mark the after party on your calendar!

See you at Lincoln Square Mall!

Don't forget: all of this and more is ready to wow you this year on Saturday, September 18 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. You can learn more about the 3rd annual C-U Black and African Arts festival on the festival's website as well as on Facebook. Be sure to follow and like the event on Facebook while you're there and find the festival on Instagram too! 

For more area events, check out our digital Experience Guide, and make sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterTikTok, and Instagram.

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