Do black arts festivals have a future? 

Tired programming, budget woes, and inconsistent leadership have plagued Atlanta's National Black Arts Festival. Can the once-revered event bounce back?

LEAPS AND BOUNDS: Renowned Philadelphia dance company Philadanco performs a 40th anniversary show set to the music of George Clinton at the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts during the 2010 National Black Arts Festival.

Laura Watson

LEAPS AND BOUNDS: Renowned Philadelphia dance company Philadanco performs a 40th anniversary show set to the music of George Clinton at the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts during the 2010 National Black Arts Festival.

The first time I heard about the National Black Arts Festival in 1998, I didn't go. I was a practicing artist in my late 20s, but Atlanta's annual summer festival of African-American dance, music, theater, film, and visual art still seemed irrelevant…

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