Festival History

The African-American Community Heritage Festival began in 2000. The founder, State Representative Dawnna Dukes, envisioned a family-friendly community celebration noting the contributions and achievements of African Americans. Since partnering with ProArts Collective, AMERIGROUP and Huston-Tillotson University, the festival has become a notable feature amongst the Black History Month celebrations in East Austin. In 2012, Women in Jazz joined into the collarboration and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) assumed the lead role of Kid's Zone Sponsor. The festival, located on the grounds of Austin's own historically black institution, Huston-Tillotson University features live entertainment, craftspeople, artists, games, activities for children, food and living history exhibits.

The fun filled, one-day event features food vendors, interactive and educational activities for children and a variety of artistic performances. Children's activities will be centrally located in BCBSTX's Kids Zone and will include child-friendly entertainment such as finger puppet-making, free bicycle helmets, and/or much more. Adults can enjoy step shows from fraternities and sororities, slam poetry, live music, dance and, local crafts and artisan work. The festival also has a health fair component; providing basic health testing, health insurance and nutritional information which is an added benefit particularly to minority communities where health disparities are so prevalent.