Celebration of Black Arts ( CBA) is July 1- 31, 2018. Check out our events schedule for more details!

Festival At-a-Glance (sponsored by PECO, Independence Blue Cross)

Exhibit by Bryan Collier, Art Sanctuary Gallery (628 S. 16th Street), FREE (donations welcome)

For the month of May, our gallery will be open from noon to 4pm everyday except on Thursdays, when we will be open 12-7pm. From 4-7pm on this day, we will host Open Gallery Nights, with free refreshments courtesy of Tony Jones and CBL Wines.

The centerpiece of this year’s festival is the month-long exhibition by Bryan Collier. More information to come!!


10am - Storytelling Circle, Art Sanctuary Gallery (628 S. 16th Street), FREE (donations welcome)


6pm - Daughters of the Dust, African American Museum in Philadelphia (701 Arch Street), FREE, REGISTER HERE

Join us at AAMP as we host a special screening of the 25th anniversary restoration of Julie Dash's landmark film, ​Daughters of the Dust! For more information, please see AAMP's event page here.


2:30pm - Artist/Author Lecture: Bryan Collier, Barnes Foundation (2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway), FREE

Join us in partnership with the Barnes Foundation for a panel discussion with Bryan Collier, author and Art Sanctuary founder Lorene Cary, artist Richard Watson, and composer and jazz vocalist Ruth Naomi Floyd on the uniquely individual stories behind the creative process. The conversation will be followed by a book signing with Collier.

From the Barnes Foundation: "Featured presenter Bryan Collier is an acclaimed artist and writer who has received both the Coretta Scott King Award and the Caldecott Honor. In 2001, he won the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for Uptown, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. In 2014, he was the US nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for children’s illustration.

7pm - Opening Reception: Bryan Collier, Art Sanctuary Gallery (628 S. 16th Street), FREE (donations welcome), RSVP HERE

After joining us at the Barnes in the afternoon, join us in the gallery as we welcome noted author and illustrator Bryan Collier, our 2017 Awardee for Visual Excellence. He will walk us through his May gallery exhibit, and refreshments will be served!


7pm - PECO Presents: In the Sanctuary: Messages from the Elders | Marita Golden, Art Sanctuary Gallery (628 S. 16th Street), FREE (donations welcome), RSVP HERE

In partnership with the Delaware Valley African-American Alzheimer’s Association, join us in welcoming Marita Golden, author, professor, founder of the African-American Writers Guild, and co-founder of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation. Ms. Golden will share her experiences with us through readings from The Wide Circumference of Love, discussion of the impact of Alzheimer's disease in the African American community, and audience Q&As. This intimate and insightful conversation will be recorded for our podcast series and conducted by Philadelphia Radio icon, Patty Jackson. You don't want to miss this event!


9am - Annual Literary & Arts Conference, African American Museum in Philadelphia (701 Arch Street), FREE (donations welcome), RSVP HERE

Hosted at the beloved African American Museum in Philadelphia, this year's conference will feature some of the region's most talented authors and artists, as well as a plethora of workshops, panel discussions, screenings and author readings. The day's events will be in conjunction with the AAMP's Family Fun Day, which will provide a youthful track to enrich the teens and little ones!

9:30AM—10:15AM: Opening Keynote Presentation with Solomon Jones, AAMP Auditorium

10:30AM—11:15AM: Financial Literacy Workshop with Breanna Colon, AAMP Auditorium

11:30AM—12:15PM: Thesentur: Conscientious Objector to Formalism with Theodore Harris, AAMP Auditorium

12:30PM—1:15PM: Poetry Workshop with Nina “Lyrispect” Ball, AAMP Auditorium

1:30PM—2:15PM: Protect Your Artistic Work! with National Writers Union, AAMP Gallery 4

2:30PM—3:15PM: Genealogy 101 Workshop with Regina Vaughan, AAMP Gallery 4

3:30PM—4:15PM: How Big Is Your World and Revisiting Your Self-Worth: Vision Collaging Workshop with Betty Battle, AAMP Gallery 4

4:30PM—5:00PM: Closing Author Reading with Liza Jessie Peterson, AAMP Gallery 4

Throughout the day, there will be artistic displays from our teaching artists at Bregy Elementary School, Church of the Advocate, Beckett Life Center, and more!


3pm - In the Sanctuary: Elijah Anderson, Barnes Foundation (2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway), $10 for visitors $8 for members and free for students, REGISTER ONLINE OR AT 215-278-7200

In partnership with the Barnes Foundation, join us in welcoming Elijah Anderson, William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University, for his lecture on Race and Civility in Everyday Life. From the Barnes Foundation: "Dr. Anderson will discuss his current ethnographic research in relation to the “cosmopolitan canopy,” which he defines as an island of mutual respect in a virtual sea of racial segregation. Join us for an exploration of the racial divide and how we can build a more inclusive and diverse society."


12:30pm - T-VOCE: Teen Voices of the City Ensemble, Annenberg Center (3680 Walnut Street), $5, REGISTER ONLINE

Join us in partnership with Opera Philadelphia and Play on Philly! and come listen to Teen Voices of the City Ensemble (T-VOCE)! Philadelphia's own all-city youth choir will perform songs, dances and spoken word pieces that reflect everyday lives. Their work is a testament to the power of the arts to change your perspective. This event is part of the Annenberg Center's ongoing Children's Festival.


7pm - LEGACY Awards Ceremony & Show, University of the Arts Arts Bank, Cost: $35 General Admission, $25 Groups of 5+, $50 VIP, BUY TICKETS HERE

The festival’s biggest highlight, the 2017 Celebration of Black Arts LEGACY Awards will be hosted at the Arts Bank. We pause during our month-long set of activities to celebrate the legacy that we are creating every day. Cocktail Attire.
The Legacy Awards will honor four phenomenal contributors, to Black Literature, art, and community:
Colson Whitehead, Award for Excellence in Literature
Bryan Collier, Award for Excellence in Visual Literary
J. Donald Dumpson, Gamble & Huff Award for Excellence in Songwriting
Ukee Washington, Award for Excellence in Journalism in memory of Chuck Stone


9am - In the Sanctuary: Workshops from Max Rodriguez & Akashic Books, African-American Museum in Philadelphia (701 Arch Street), FREE

Max Rodriguez, founder of the Harlem Book Fair, has graciously offered to receive and edit manuscripts from Art Sanctuary members and supporters! His imprint, Extra Mile Books, is actively looking for publishable work. Mr. Rodriguez and his staff have reviewed completed manuscripts in advance, and will host workshops and reviews throughout the day.
Work In Progress
Is your writing stuck between a rock and a hard place? Are you unsure of which way to turn? Have you been ?almost there? for almost forever? To paraphrase a comedy adage: Living is easy; writing is hard. Reserve a spot in our manuscript/writing review session. Bring your questions. Leave with a breakthrough! Seating is limited; reserve now.
​Everyplace Is The Marketplace: How to Make Your Book Move!
By now, we've learned the cold, hard truth: a book, like any other consumer good, is just another product in an ever-widening digital marketplace. That's the good news. The bad is that your audience no longer sits to have its information appetite fed. The market is now mobile and everyplace is the marketplace.
Join our discussion on best digital practices for meeting your audience wherever they may be. Make "Hello!" and "Thank you!" your most-often used words in marketing your book or product.
​Inspired Distraction: A Conversation on the Disruptive Act of Writing
Join Max Rodriguez in an audience participation Q&A on the process, challenge, and rewards of writing. A selected writer will join Max on stage to discuss their writing (and yours!), from inspiration to publication.


7pm - Sanctuary LIVE! (#TBT), Art Sanctuary Gallery (628 S. 16th Street), $10, BUY TICKETS HERE

We're bringing it back!! This 2017 edition of Sanctuary LIVE! will feature Baltimore-bred and Philly-based musician Lee Mo, and be co-hosted by Safa and V. Shayne Frederick. We will also open the mic and the stage to YOU! From evolving starlets to the regionally renowned, on the 4th Thursday of CBA, Art Sanctuary will once again curate the very best in emerging talent from Philadelphia and beyond during our arts showcase — Sanctuary LIVE!

Meet us on Thursday, May 25th at 7PM for a Special Celebration of Black Arts Edition of Sanctuary LIVE! Admission is only $10 — we’ll bring the wine, light fare, and platform; you bring… YOU! Whether you plan to rock the mic, or just enjoy the show, ALL are welcome – spread the word! Doors 7, show 7:30 p.m.



12-3pm - Exploring Paul Robeson, Paul Robeson House (4951 Walnut Street), FREE, RSVP HERE!

In partnership with the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance/Paul Robeson House, come celebrate the enduring Paul Robeson House Museum, meant to honor the life and legacy of noted artist, activist, and scholar Paul Robeson. In a recent biography, Gerald Horne writes of Robeson: "A world-famous singer and actor, a trained lawyer, an early star of American professional football and a polyglot who spoke over a dozen languages: these could be the crowning achievements of a life well-lived. Yet for Paul Robeson the higher calling of social justice led him to abandon both the NFL and Hollywood and become one of the most important political activists of his generation, a crusader for freedom and equality who battled both Jim Crow and Joseph McCarthy." This event shall feature tours of the new exhibition at the Paul Robeson House Museum along with a special staged reading of Paul Robeson's historic testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities on June 12, 1956. This event is co-sponsored by the FUTURES Atmosphere of Philadelphia Assembled, a project of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Special Thanks to our 2018 Sponsors and Partners

Countdown to CBA34!

Stay tuned to our main page for new Art Sanctuary programming! 

About Us

Art Sanctuary uses the power of black art to transform individuals, create and build community and foster cultural understanding.

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