Art Futurism is crash landing in Kansas City, MO for the first 18th & Vine Art Festival. The event will take place September 29 to October 1. In the heart of one of the country’s oldest Black neighborhoods, the festival will showcase Black visual artists and musicians from all over. 

With Art Futurism as its theme, the 18th & Vine Arts Festival is taking visitors on an artistic journey. Still paying homage to Black history, the art displays cast a foreshadowing into the future of Black America. 

“We are putting together artists from all over the world, coming out to celebrate art, and this year’s theme is Art Futurism,” festival organizer Quez Beasley told Fox News 4. “Art Futurism, honey, so that’s what we are doing for 18th and Vine. We are making it great.”

A History Of Art, Jazz & Culture

18th & Vine
Photo credit: Yan Krukau

The 18th & Vine neighborhood in Kansas City has a rich connection to Black locals. During the first half of the 20th century, African Americans were prohibited from moving into housing beyond 27th Street. It was within these limitations that Black excellence began to bloom in the Midwest city.

As the dollar increasingly circulated throughout the community, 18th & Vine became known as a hub for Black businesses and culture. One of America’s oldest Black-owned newspapers, the Kansas City Call, was founded and still operates there.

Jazz music evolved in the 18th & Vine district and legendary pianist William “Count” Basie stayed on 18th Street. Now, the 18th & Vine Art Festival is joining decades of Black history cultivating in this historic district.

The Future Of Art Is Black

18th & Vine
Photo credit: Brett Sayles

For event organizer Beasley, the 18th & Vine Art Festival was necessary to amplify more Black artistic voices in a community where creativity reigns supreme. With so many artists not getting the shine they deserve, Beasley hopes participating artists gain recognition and support.

“So many Black artists get overlooked,” he said to Fox 4. “You might hear their name, but you don’t know who they are, so we are opening up the door for Black artists.”

The three-day, Art Futurism-themed event will feature multiple displays of Black creativity. There will be an Afrofuturism fashion show, a full-day music celebration, collaborative workshops, and art installations. Local youth will have their artwork on display as well as food trucks serving up delicious treats throughout the event. 

The 18th & Vine Art Festival strives to create more unity and equity for Black artists in Kansas City. To break down financial barriers that prohibit creatives from succeeding, all booths were available to visual artists at no charge. 

“By eliminating booth fees, we’re reaffirming our dedication to these narratives, especially those from Black artists that have historically faced systemic barriers,” festival organizers said in a blog post on the event website. 

Tickets are on sale now for the 18th & Vine Art Festival. The event has both $20 weekend passes and $10 day passes available.