IAAFestival began in 1971 on Claver Place as the African Street Carnival (a PTA’s block party fundraiser for “Uhuru Sasa Shule” or “Freedom Now School,” an independent school in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn) with local artists, entertainers, and performers, arts and crafts vendors, along with food prepared by the parents. Almost 2,000 people attended and it was a major success.
Since then, “The Festival,” as it is now affectionately called, as been part of the Brooklyn’s world-class cultural landscape for 45 years. Each year a committed team of Board members, part-time seasonal staff, and volunteers, work together to transform a park into an outdoor African cultural oasis that…one that celebrates traditional and contemporary expressions of African cultural in all of its beauty, diversity, and power.
Today, the IAAFestival is a community-based, non-profit organization that produces an annual event attracting an estimated 75,000 attendees from all over Brooklyn, New York City, the United States, and from around the world.