Cincinnati's UnderWorld Black Arts Festival Celebrates and Amplifies Black Creativity

The three-day festival returns for its fifth year Oct. 19-21.

Sep 11, 2023 at 12:42 pm
click to enlarge The UnderWorld Black Arts Festival is curated by Cincinnati native and multidisciplinary performer Napolean Maddox. - Photo: Provided by UnderWorld Black Arts Festival
Photo: Provided by UnderWorld Black Arts Festival
The UnderWorld Black Arts Festival is curated by Cincinnati native and multidisciplinary performer Napolean Maddox.

A three-day festival celebrating Black creativity returns to Cincinnati for its fifth year this fall. The UnderWorld Black Arts Festival (UBAF) will be held Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 19-21 at several venues across the city.

UBAF blends poetry, art, music and activism to amplify Black culture. The event is curated by Cincinnati native and multidisciplinary performer Napoleon Maddox and will feature a unique lineup of local, national and international artists.

“We’re proud to bring back our annual The UnderWorld Black Arts Festival,” Maddox said in a press release. “We’re committed to creating a space for Black artists of all disciplines to express themselves and come together for three days full of art, music, knowledge, and, more importantly, creativity.”

This year, several music industry and pop culture legends will be at the festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, including Danny Simmons, the co-producer of HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and brother of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Reverend Run of Run-DMC, Joseph Simmons. Author, DJ and music producer Kenny Parker will also be in attendance, and Quantita Roberson, Ursula Rucker and Anthony Carlos Molden will host the poetry and arts workshop “Healing Colonial Trauma: Unshackled 2023 (Your Hour To Break the Chain)."

Events and workshops will be held at the Contemporary Arts Center, Aronoff Center for the Arts, Evanston Recreation Center and the Music Resource Center in Evanston. Find the full lineup here.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit underworldblackartsfestival.com.

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