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28th Annual African Festival of the Arts

Sept 1 - 4, 2017

Annually during Labor Day Weekend, the Festival grounds in Chicago’s Washington Park come alive in a simulated African village. Attendees are transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces and Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family, African Heritage, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Books and Authors, Fine Art, Film and Video, Food Court, Seniors and Quilting, and the African Marketplace. 

2017 African Festival of the Arts Honorees

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. 

Grand Baba

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.


Linda Murray

Grand Yeye

Mrs. Linda Murray

2017 African Festival of the Arts 

Artist of the Year

Nii Oti

She Beckons Me Home 

She Beckons Me Home 


The 2017 Artist of the Year is Nii Oti whose vibrant work graces the cover of all this year’s African Festival of the Arts materials. For over 40 years, Nii Oti was a gifted artist who specialized incombining African and African-American art through his paintings and customized jewelry.

In the mid-70s, Nii Oti packed up his family and moved to Ghana. There, he taught art and studied with many renowned artists in Ghana, Nigeria and throughout the Ivory Coast. It was also in Ghana where he was given his name, which roughly translated means “Chief.”

Over the decades, Nii Oti has accumulated a body of work that reflects his transition from a child of the South Side of Chicago to a world-renowned master of African-American art.