Black Arts Fest MKE to return to Summerfest grounds

Soul singer Bettye LaVette will headline the festival

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Black Arts Fest MKE will return to Henry Maier Festival Park for its second year this summer, with soul singer Bettye LaVette headlining the festival.

The festival, a celebration of African and African American culture, will be held Aug. 3. from 12 p.m. to midnight.

Nearly 9,000 visitors attended the inaugural Black Arts Fest MKE in 2018, which marked the return of a festival celebrating black heritage at the Summerfest grounds, five years after the former African World Festival had its final run. A group of Milwaukee area business leaders has helped bring the festival to fruition. 

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Among the event’s biggest corporate sponsors are Johnson Controls, BMO Harris Bank, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Ralph Evinrude Foundation, Burke Properties, Aurora Health Care and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

This year’s event will include dance performances, workshops, food, artists and art vendors.

LaVette, a three-time Grammy nominated artist, will play the Johnson Controls World Music Stage at 9:30 p.m. R&B vocal trio SWV (Sisters With Voices) will perform on the Miller Lite Oasis stage at 10:15 p.m.

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Tickets are available for purchase online through Aug. 3 at

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