'Mounting health concerns:' Black Arts Fest MKE canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

MILWAUKEE --Black Arts Fest MKE (BAFMKE) announced Thursday, April 23 the cancellation of its Aug. 1, festival at the Henry Maier festival grounds.

Black Arts Fest MKE officials said the following in a press release: 

The decision to cancel comes after careful consideration of the mounting health concerns and community hardships arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognize that the Safer at Home mandates may be removed by August but in the end, it is impossible to predict future mandates for large social gatherings in this time of health crisis and uncertainty.

Although our community enjoys attending the festival, given the disproportionate rate that COVID-19 has affected African Americans, the board has made the difficult but responsible decision to cancel the festival for this year. “We appreciate the value of our annual gathering but prioritize our community’s health and safety above all else.” says Derek Tyus, chairman of BAFMKE’s board of directors.

Black Arts Fest MKE is an anchor in our community and a vital part of Milwaukee’s summertime ethnic festivals. Celebrating our heritage, culture, and unity is a must.

The board of Black Arts Fest MKE looks forward to returning to Henry Maier Festival Park in August 2021.