Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The Zora Neale Hurston Festival of Arts and Humanities is back and guarantees to be bigger and better than ever before. The nine-day celebration takes place in Hurston’s hometown of Eatonville, FL January 20-28 and features an array of educational programming, cultural presentations, artists’ talks, expert workshops, heritage musical concerts, themed parties and special events.

This year’s highlights include a keynote message from award-winning poet activist and iconic literary figure Sonia Sanchez; an in-depth conversation with cultural commentator, hip hop star and actor David Banner as well as a concert featuring legendary music group—The Zapp Band.

Hurston, who is revered for her timeless body of work and iconic stature, remains one of the most read writers of the Harlem Renaissance.   Her life and legacy continue to fascinate festival loyalists worldwide.   As festival producers, we at the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.) are proud that ZORA! Festival has become nationally recognized as a cultural heritage tourism model,” stated N. Y. Nathiri, Executive Director of the P.E.C.

Check out the full schedule below:

DAY 1
Saturday, January 20
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Exhibition: Retrospective—The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community: The Early Years, 1987 – 1997
Opening Reception & Gallery Talk
Free and open to the public
Focus: A multi-media presentation drawn from the organization’s Archives
Location: Zora Neale Hurston™ National Museum of Fine Arts (The Hurston™) 

DAY 2
Sunday, January 21
4:00 – 5:30 PM
Back Story of the ZORA! Education Program (ZEP) Initiative: The Power of Collaboration
Free and open to the public

Focus: A “nerds-approach” to exploring just how the ZORA! Festival 2018, K12 Kids programming was developed
Location: Zora Neale Hurston™ National Museum of Fine Arts (The Hurston™) 

DAY 3
Monday, January 22
7:00 – 8:30 PM

An Eatonville Remembrance: 1987 – 1994

Free and open to the public
Focus: East Kennedy Boulevard Widening Opposition Advocate to Programs Innovator: The P.E.C. Evolution
Location: St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church

DAY 4
TuesdayJanuary 23
Unscheduled, currently

Day 5
Wednesday, January 24
ZORA! Festival at the University of Central Florida
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Location: University of Central Florida Library on the Main Campus

DAY 6
Thursday, January 25
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Communities Conference II: Civic Conversations Continue
Paid registration required. Special reduced rates for Students and Senior Citizens (55+) with appropriate I.D.
Featuring Keynote Address by , Poet – Activist Sonia Sanchez9:15 AM, Bush Auditorium, Rollins College

Conference Focus: A series of sessions exploring issues of cultural arts, education, personal finance, community revitalization and more
Location: Rollins College Campus

DAY 7
Friday, January 26

8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Communities Conference II: Civic Conversations Continue (continued)
Paid registration required. Special reduced rates for Students and Senior Citizens (55+) with appropriate I.D.
Focus: Communities Conversations conclude & humanities panels convene.
Location:  Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church 

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Outdoor Festival of the Arts
Free and open to the public
Focus: Vendors’ booths, The Hurston Museum, International Food Court, Healthy Lifestyles Pavilion and More
Location: The front lawn of the Historic Robert Hungerford High School Campus 

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
ZORA! Education Day (ZED)
Free and open to the public
Focus: An outdoor classroom for K12 kids, including a make and take tent, performance and STEM demonstrations
Location 1: Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Eatonville

Location 2: ZORA! STEM Conference for Middle School Students • Orlando Technical College

6:00 – 7:30 PM
Reception: Hosted by Orlando Commissioner Samuel B.Ings
Location: Orlando City Hall

8:00 – 11:30 PM
Cuttin’ the Rug: ZORA! Line Dance Showcase
Paid admission required
Focus: Featuring nationally known Producer & MC Jero Green and some of the finest performers
Location: Winter Park Civic Center 

DAY 8

Saturday, January 27

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
HATitude Party & Lunch
Paid admission required
Focus: Good fellowship, good fun and good food . . . Remember to wear “Your Sunday Best”
Location: Winter Park Civic Center 

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Outdoor Festival of the Arts
Free to children and youth currently enrolled in school and adults pay $10 at the gate
Focus: Vendors’ booths, The Hurston Museum, International Food Court, Healthy Lifestyles Pavilion and more
Location: Zora’s Village, The front lawn of the Historic Robert Hungerford High School Campus

1:00 – 6:00 PM
Concert Stage
Paid admission required
Featuring: The Zapp Band
Location: Wymore Athletic Field • Eatonville 32751 

8:00 – 11:00 PM
An Evening with David Banner
Paid admission required
Focus: An intimate affair featuring the fusion of Jazz, Hip-Hop & Soul by a live band, and culminating with an up-close and personal chat with the Grammy Award-winning music producer, recording artist, philanthropist, actor, and activist; a favorite for his incisive cultural commentary.

Location: UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Darden Auditorium 

DAY 9
Sunday, January 28
8:30 – 9:45 AM
Traditional Worship Service (Ecumenical)
Focus: To celebrate the role of the Christian Religion in Historic Eatonville
Location: St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (Congregation established before the Town’s Incorporation)

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Outdoor Festival of the Arts
Free to children and youth currently enrolled in school and adults pay $10 at the gate
Focus: International Marketplace, Healthy Lifestyles Pavilion, The Hurston Museum, Fine Arts, Community Stage and more
Location: Zora’s Village.  The front lawn of the Historic Robert Hungerford High School Campus

2:00 – 5:00 PM
Concert Stage
Paid admission required
Featuring: The National Motown Review
Location: Wymore Athletic Field • Eatonville 32751

Happy Birthday Zora Neale Hurston

Photo Credits: The Zora Neale Hurston Festival of Arts and Humanities

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