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31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing


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31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing



Art Sanctuary’s Celebration of Black Writing (CBW) is one of the most prominent African-American literary events in the nation putting the spotlight on black literary, visual and performing arts.  Larry Robin of Robin’s Bookstore originally founded the event as a one-day gathering of literary scholars and authors over 30 years ago.  After taking over, Art Sanctuary has spent over a decade transforming the CBW into a month long festival showcasing the talents of African Americans of all ages, background and interests. This May, black art and culture will fill the city of Philadelphia with a month-long exhibit, community literary and performance events, author readings, and workshops for emerging writers and artists.  This year is sure to be the biggest celebration yet!

IN THE GALLERY - Throughout the entire month of May, we will feature a month-long exhibition as the centerpiece of the our festival: ‘Barkley L. Hendricks: Oh Snap!’ 

STORYTELLING CIRCLE - A fun-filled Storytelling Circle on Friday, May 1, 10-11 am at the Art Sanctuary gallery will inspire a life-long love of art in children as they listen to great stories followed by art making. To learn more about our Storytelling Circle programmin.

OUTDOOR SPRING FESTIVAL - Once again, we will kick off the festival with a fun-filled day in partnership with the South Street Spring Fest on May 2nd! Click here for more information.

IN THE SANCTUARY, sponsored by PECO – Every Wednesday in May, starting May 6th, enjoy a series of live interviews and author readings featuring four of the  nations most well-known authors of color sharing their gifts, secrets and talents at the Art Sanctuary gallery. More information coming soon!

BLACK PROFESSIONALS GOT TALENT - On Friday, May 8, some of the region’s most talented professionals will replace their memo pads and brief cases  with a mic during Black Professionals Got Talent at the Arts Bank at the University of the Arts (601 South Broad Street). Stay tuned for more information, and our star-studded lineup of professionals! More information coming soon!

HIP H’OPERA & NORTH STARS SHOWCASE – On Friday, May 15th, we will feature the youth we work with in schools and community centers, including our collaborative partnership with Opera Philadelphia, Hip H’opera, and North Stars, our in-school and after school programs. Through our programs, we use art to help youth connect history to present-day issues and help them find their own voices to express themselves.

SANCTUARY LIVE! - Our monthly live-music showcase, will feature an emerging musical act as well as local musical and spoken-word artists during an open-mic on Friday, May 15 starting at 7 pm at the Art Sanctuary gallery. More information coming soon!

LITERARY & ARTS CONFERENCE - The Celebration of Black Writing Literary & Arts Conference will take place on Saturday, May 23, beginning at 10am, featuring some of Philadelphia’s most notable authors and artists conducting and participating in workshops, performances, panel discussions and live In the Sanctuary pod casts.  

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS CEREMONY & SHOW - On Friday, May 29 at 7pm is the festival’s biggest highlight, the 2015 Celebration of Black Writing Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony & Show at Temple Performing Arts Center. Our Month-long set of activities culminates with what we the “Oscars of Black Writing”. 


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