Colorado Black Arts Festival founder passes away

Colorado Black Arts Festival founder passes away

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Florence Ayers, (303) 328-5734;

Denver, CO – M. Perry Ayers, Founder and Artistic Director of the Colorado Black Arts Festival, passed away March 23, 2023. He was 71 years old.

“His contributions to our community are vast, said Khadija Haynes. Perry, as he is fondly known to family and friends, founded the Denver Black Arts Festival which was later known as the Colorado Black Arts Festival (CBAF) with his brother, Oyedele Oginga, in 1986. CBAF, the state’s largest celebration of the African diaspora arts and culture, is celebrating its 37th year in 2023. “What an outstanding and awesome man that lived a great inspirational life,” said Dr. Michael A. Williams, Music Director and Minister of Music at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church.

Ayers, talented in so many art forms, was a metal art and jewelry artist, a Cleo Parker Robinson Dance dancer in the 1970s, and above all else, a true visionary. Perry brought art to life with his annual sculpture garden pieces.

M. Perry Ayers’ Celebration of Life service will be 11:00 am on Thursday, April 6, 2023, at Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Blvd, Denver, CO 80207. In lieu of flowers, the Ayers family requests that donations be made to the Colorado Black Arts Festival.



The Colorado Black Arts Festival (CBAF) was founded in 1986 to develop, promote and celebrate African (American) arts and culture in Colorado. The festival draws an audience of over 50,000 guests each year. The Colorado Black Arts Festival, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become the fifth-largest event of its kind in the United States. The CBAF is a family-oriented event that is free and open to the entire Colorado community. The CBAF offers its guests the opportunity to explore African culture through the visual arts, music, dance, hands-on art activities, a people’s marketplace, and ethnic foods to delight the palate. For more information about the Colorado Black Arts Festival, visit, or check out Facebook (@coloradoblackartsfestival) and Instagram (coblackartsfest).

Source: Published without changes from The Colorado Black Arts Festival (CBAF)

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