Celebration of Black Writing

Every year, noted journalists, writers and performance artists from across the U.S. join Art Sanctuary, Philadelphia’s leading African-American arts and letters organization devoted to presenting outstanding regional and national talent in the literary, visual and performing arts, for the Annual Celebration of Black Writing Festival.

The Celebration of Black Writing is one of the nation’s longest-running celebrations of contemporary black writing. Founded by Larry Robin of Robin’s Books, CBW started in 1984 as a black history month writing conference and has grown to today’s full-fledged festival held the last weekend in May at community sites across the city.

The Celebration of Black Writing offers several days of literary discussions and workshops, music showcases, and film screenings.

One of the major highlights of the festival is the Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony. Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include legendary storyteller J. California Cooper, renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni, poet Sonia Sanchez, and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Charles Fuller. For almost three decades, Celebration of Black Writing has sought to deepen the city of Philadelphia’s literary life and polish its tourist shine with a rich infusion of African-American writers and artists in all genres. A one of a kind literary feast, Celebration of Black Writing has provided writers and artists an opportunity to discuss their work with up to 1,500–2,000 students, and another 2,000–3,000 people who participate in panels, workshops, teachers’ symposium, Family Pavilion, main stage, and other events. The Celebration has annually featured up to 75 professional and aspiring writers, editors, publishers, scholars, spoken-word artists, performance artists, playwrights, and filmmakers. In 2012, selected panels and workshops were streamed live for the first time online and have been archived so that new and enthusiastic readers and writers can access them anytime!

For details about CBW 2013, click here.

For Virtual CBW 2012, click here.

For past CBW schedules, click here.

For past CBW posters, click here.

For an archive of Lifetime Achievement Honorees, click here.

For more information about participating, please contact us at events@artsanctuary.org or 215-232-4485.

To become a vendor, email us at vendors@artsanctuary.org
To volunteer, visit our VOLUNTEER PAGE and fill out the VOLUNTEER FORM, or email us at info@artsanctuary.org.

2012 Sponsors

Contributing Sponsors

 Catering by Design, Farmbry and Associates, GPTMC, Mitchelll & Titus, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, PRWT, Team Clean, Inc., The Roz Group and Tierney