African American Heritage Festival


June 8, 2021 – June 12, 2021
Virtual and In-Person

Celebrate Charlotte’s Black history and culture during the annual free African American Heritage Festival. This year’s festival is a combination of virtual and in-person events that explore dance, visual art, historic memory, and the history of enslavement and segregation through the stories of those who lived here. To support social distancing, limited tickets for in-person events must be reserved in advance.

The 2021 African American Heritage Festival is made possible with support from the Arts & Science Council and Pride Magazine.

Registration is required to attend the JazzArts concert on Friday, June 11, as well as the Festival Afternoon on the Grounds. Please select the number of people in your group when registering – i.e. if there are 3 people in your household who’ll be attending together, please select ‘3’ tickets next to the “Add to Cart” button below.

Register to attend the Friday, June 11 JazzArts concert and/or the Saturday, June 12 Afternoon on the Grounds:

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Tuesday, June 8 at 11:00               Charlotte Ballet Dance Demo    

Livestream on Zoom

Dance along with the Charlotte Ballet! The Ballet will offer a livestreamed dance demonstration featuring West African dance traditions. The program will explore movement, music, costuming, and more. Join the program live by clicking the button below. A recording will be available on YouTube and Facebook following the program.

Recording Coming Soon!


Tuesday, June 8 at 12:00               Lunch & Learn: What’s in a Name?         

Livestream on YouTube

Listen in to a conversation with Charlotte community history Tom Hanchett, JCSU archivist Brandon Lunsford and DeLisa Minor Harris of Fisk University as they discuss the origins of the Rosenwald Fund, which helped build thousands of schools for African American children in the South during the Jim Crow era.


Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00        Lakeetha Blakeney: Bridging Then & Now           

Livestream on Facebook & YouTube

Playwright and actress Lakeetha Blakeney joins the Museum for a livestreamed conversation that explores African American food, hair, and fashion as they were, as they are now, and how they could be in the future.


Thursday, June 10 at 6:00             RESCHEDULED: History Talks Lecture: Former Charlotte Mayor & U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx   

Livestream on Facebook & YouTube

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this program will be rescheduled for July. We apologize for the inconvenience. As part of the Ron Hankins “History Talks” Lecture Series, sponsored by Wells Fargo, Former Charlotte Mayor and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will discuss his career and his work combatting racism in various roles, including as chair of Davidson College’s Commission on Race and Slavery.


Friday, June 11 at 4:00                   JazzArts Concert SOLD OUT

In-person at the Museum, Registration required

JazzArts will perform a small-ensemble concert in-person at the Museum, featuring a musical timeline of genres and styles created by Black musicians beginning in the 19th century to today. Tickets are limited and registration is required for all guests. Please refer to the Mask Policy in the next section.


Saturday, June 12, 12:00 – 4:00                 Afternoon on the Grounds

In-person at the Museum, Registration required

Bring the whole family to learn about Charlotte’s Black history and culture on the final day of African American Heritage Festival! Witness the “Chronicles of Adam,” a powerful first-person historical narrative with interpreter Dontavius Williams, see a performance by Drums 4 Life, explore a brand-new exhibit that tells the story of the historic Siloam School, and watch art in motion as local artists Makayla Binter, Abel Jackson, Kalin Renee Devone, and Ricky Singh paint portraits of notable Black Charlotteans on the lawn of the Museum. Registration is required for all guests. Please refer to the Mask Policy in the next section.

Afternoon on the Grounds Schedule:

2:30                              Drums for Life, Bell Plaza (outdoors)

12:15, 1:15, & 3:15       “Chronicles of Adam” with Dontavious Williams, 1774 Homesite

All day                          Path of Portraits, outdoors

All day                          Siloam School exhibit opening



When indoors, visitors over the age of 5 are Museum are required to wear a face covering at all times. Visitors ages 2-5 are highly encouraged to wear a face covering when indoors.

When outdoors, all visitors over the age of 5 must wear a face covering when they may be within six feet of any person not in their group, including Museum staff. Visitors ages 2-5 are highly encouraged to wear a face covering outdoors.

In certain areas, you will find signs that say, “Mask On.” These are areas where you will interact with Museum staff and interpreters and may come in close contact with others. To protect them and you, masks are required in these areas.



The Museum building, including accessible restrooms, will be open for visitors to explore.  Some hands-on elements, including those in the Backcountry Gallery, have been removed to prevent the spread of illness.

The Museum reserves the right to remove any person or group from the property, including the grounds and parking lot.

African American Heritage Festival